Facial palsy and Lyme borreliosis: long-term follow-up of children with antibiotically untreated “idiopathic” facial palsy.


We report on the follow-up of 28 patients, who were admitted to our hospitals between 1968 and 1984, and who, at that time, were diagnosed as having idiopathic facial palsy. These children were neither tested for
Lyme borreliosis (LB) nor did they receive antibiotic treatment. In those days LB was an unfamiliar infection. Today we can assume that approximately 30%-50% of the patients we studied represent actual cases of neuroborreliosis. We, therefore, considered them an appropriate model in studying the spontaneous course of LB in children. the analysis of the questionnaire designed for our study as well as the supplementary clinical and serological reexaminations in some cases provided no evidence that neuroborreliosis led to relevant health disorders in any of the children (follow-up 10 to 26 years, mean 17). The results of our retrospective study led us to conclude that tick-borne facial palsy is relatively benign in children and that neuroborreliosis is insignificantly related to late complications.

Klin Padiatr. 1997 May-Jun;209(3):95-9.

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