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To chart remaining complaints 1 year after treatment for neuroborreliosis, and to identify risk factors for a non-favorable outcome.
We followed patients treated for neuroborreliosis prospectively, and assessed outcome by a composite clinical score. The impact on outcome of clinical, demographic and laboratory factors were analyzed by univariate analyses and logistic regression.
Out of 85 patients 41 (48%) had remaining complaints; 14 had objective findings and 27 subjective symptoms. Remaining complaints were associated with pre-treatment symptom duration >or=6 weeks (OR = 4.062, P = 0.044), high pre-treatment cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cell count (OR = 1.005, P = 0.001), and female gender (OR = 3.218, P = 0.025). Presence of CSF oligoclonal bands (OCBs) was not analyzed in the logistic regression model due to many missing observations, but was found to be more frequent both pre-treatment (P = 0.004) and after 12 months (P = 0.015) among patients with remaining complaints as compared to patients with complete recovery. Further evaluation showed that objective remaining findings, and not subjective symptoms, were associated with pre-treatment symptom duration >or=6 weeks. No difference in outcome was observed between patients treated with IV ceftriaxone and patients treated with oral doxycycline.
Remaining complaints are common after neuroborreliosis. The majority of the complaints are subjective. Pre-treatment symptom duration >or=6 weeks, high pre-treatment CSF cell count, and female gender seem to be risk factors for remaining complaints. Presence of CSF OCBs may also predict a non-favorable outcome, but this should be further studied. Whether subjective and objective complaints are associated with different risk factors is also an issue for future studies.