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Physician preferences in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease in the United States.

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Abstract

To assess physician preferences in the diagnosis and treatment of
Lyme disease, questionnaires were sent to physicians in various
Lyme disease endemic areas in the U.S. Seventy-eight responses were analyzed. Both ELISA and Western blot were ordered by 86% of responders. Fifty percent of responders believed that 25% or more of patients who have
Lyme disease were seronegative. The treatment was influenced by physician specialty. Antibiotic treatment for tick bite was prescribed by 20% of responders. Erythema migrans rash was treated by all responders without serologic confirmation. The median treatment duration of erythema migrans was 4 weeks. For post-erythema migrans
Lyme disease, 43% of responders treat 3 months or more; for chronic
Lyme disease, 57% of responders treat 3 months or more. Our survey documents significant differences between published recommendations and actual practices. Physician education and clinical trials are needed to clarify the reasons for these differences.

Infection. 1996 Mar-Apr;24(2):182-6. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t; Review

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