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Our objective was to determine the diagnostic value of CSF examinations in the diagnosis of neuroborreliosis in children with peripheral facial palsy (PFP). Paired serum and CSF samples from 21 children with PFP were investigated for antibody responses to Borrelia burgdorferi antigens using three different ELISA systems and one Western blot assay. Twenty of the children (95%) had detectable immunoglobin (Ig) M or IgG in the acute-phase serum, but discrepancies between serologic assays were noted in 33% for IgM and 22 to 50% for IgG. Intrathecal specific-antibody production was detected in five of the 20 seropositive children (25%). These five patients showed seroconversion in convalescent sera in at least one assay. Similar seroconversion suggesting recent infection with B. burgdorferi was observed in eight of the 10 children (80%) without intrathecal specific-antibody production, from whom convalescent serum samples could be obtained. All patients with intrathecal antibodies or seroconversion had shown lymphocytic pleocytosis in the acute phase of PFP. In the acute phase of PFP the detection of intrathecal production of antibodies to B. burgdorferi allows prompt diagnosis of neuroborreliosis. For patients with lymphocytic pleocytosis but no detectable intrathecal antibodies, analysis of convalescent serum may help to establish this diagnosis.