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Otolaryngologic aspects of Lyme disease.

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Abstract

Lyme disease is a systemic illness caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted by the bite of a tick in the Ixodes ricinus complex. While the illness is often associated with a characteristic rash, erythema migrans, patients may also present with a variety of complaints in the absence of the rash. The otolaryngologist may be called upon to see both groups of patients, with any number of signs and symptoms referable to the head and neck, including headache, neck pain, odynophagia, cranial nerve palsy, head and neck dysesthesia, otalgia, tinnitus, hearing loss, vertigo, temporomandibular pain, lymphadenopathy, and dysgeusia. We review our institutional experience with 266 patients with
Lyme disease, 75% of whom experienced head and neck symptoms. We also summarize the diagnostic and treatment modalities for this illness.

Laryngoscope. 1991 Jun;101(6 Pt 1):592-5.

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