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Lyme disease and facial paralysis in children.

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Lyme disease is one of the most common cause of acute peripheral facial palsy in children. Overall nervous system involvement is also the predominant manifestation of
Lyme disease in children, chiefly as facial palsy and/or aseptic meningitis. The medical records of ten patients with discharge diagnosis of facial palsy associated to borreliosis were retrospectively reviewed. The diagnostic criteria for borreliosis included acute peripheral facial palsy associated with erythema migrans (1/10) and/or positive
Lyme serology in serum (10/10) or CSF (6/10). Facial palsy was associated with a high rate (9/10) of occult meningitis. Cerebrospinal fluid findings showed lymphocytic pleocytosis associated to moderate increased protein level. PCR assays displayed a very low sensitivity. All patients with meningitis were treated with intravenous ceftriaxone for 3 weeks and received their treatment as outpatients with an heparinised venous catheter. Our study confirm that borreliosis should be considered in every case of peripheral facial palsy and based on the high rate of occult meningitis, we also advocate to perform a lumbar puncture. Although long term prognosis of facial palsy associated with
Lyme disease in children appears excellent, current treatment recommendations advocate prolonged antibiotic therapy.

Rev Med Liege. 2001 Feb;56(2):93-6. Case Reports; English Abstract

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