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Facial paresis in children; consider Lyme disease.

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Abstract

Three girls, aged 3, 7 and 13 years, developed acute peripheral facial palsy. The first patient was initially diagnosed as having Bell’s palsy. The third patient had negative serology at first assessment, on the basis of which the diagnosis of
Lyme disease was temporarily rejected. Ultimately, all three appeared to have neuroborreliosis. They were treated with intravenous ceftriaxone and recovered well. Facial palsy in childhood is frequently caused by
Lyme borreliosis and infection with Borrelia burgdorferi should therefore be investigated, even if there are no signs of a tick bite or erythema migrans. Diagnosis is made by serology, followed by immunoblotting to confirm a positive result. In case of strong suspicion based on the patient’s history or physical examination or a positive serology, lumbar puncture should be carried out. Antibiotic treatment facilitates recovery and prevents complications.

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2001 May 26;145(21):1013-6. Case Reports; English Abstract

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