Diagnosis and clinical characteristics of ocular Lyme borreliosis

American Journal of Ophthalmology
A KarmaA Tarkkanen


To establish a diagnosis, in a group of patients we studied the characteristics of ocular Lyme borreliosis. During a two-year period, 236 patients with prolonged external ocular inflammation, uveitis, retinitis, optic neuritis, or unexplained neuro-ophthalmic symptoms were examined for Lyme borreliosis. Antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi were measured by indirect ELISA and western blot. Cerebrospinal fluid was also analyzed by polymerase chain reaction. Ocular Lyme borreliosis was diagnosed in ten patients on the basis of medical history, clinical findings, and serologic test results. Results of ELISA disclosed that five patients were seropositive, two patients showed borderline reactivity, and three patients were seronegative. Four of the five patients with borderline or negative results by ELISA had a positive result by western blot analysis. In one seropositive patient, polymerase chain reaction verified a gene of B. burgdorferi endoflagellin from the vitreous and cerebrospinal fluid specimen. In five of the six patients with known onset of the Borrelia infection, the ocular disorder appeared as a late manifestation. Abnormalities of the posterior segment of the eye, such as vitreitis, retinal vasculitis, neuroretinitis, cho...Continue Reading


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