Lyme arthritis in children and adolescents: outcome 12 months after initiation of antibiotic therapy.

lyme-steroidsLyme arthritis in children and adolescents: outcome 12 months after initiation of antibiotic therapy.

Bentas W, Karch H, Huppertz HI
Children’s Hospital and Institute of Hygiene and Microbiology, University of Würzburg, Germany.
The Journal of Rheumatology [2000, 27(8):2025-2030]
Type: Clinical Trial, Journal Article, Multicenter Study, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t
Abstract Highlight Terms Highlight biological terms.
Gene Ontology(1) Diseases(4) Species(2)
OBJECTIVE: Lyme arthritis in children and adolescents due to infection with Borrelia burgdorferi responds well to intravenous and oral antibiotics, but nonresponders have been described with all antibiotic regimens tested and a standard therapy has not yet been established. We examined causes of the failure of antibiotic treatment in the presence of persistent organisms and autoimmune mechanisms. METHODS: A prospective multicenter study was carried out in 55 children and adolescents with Lyme arthritis.

RESULTS: There were significant differences between younger and older patients with pediatric Lyme arthritis. Younger patients were more likely to have fever at the onset of arthritis and to have acute or episodic arthritis. Older patients were more likely to have chronic arthritis, higher levels of IgG antibodies to B. burgdorferi (by ELISA and immunoblot), and a longer interval between antibiotic treatment and the disappearance of arthritis. Of 51 patients followed for at least 12 months after initiation of antibiotic treatment, 24% retained manifestations of the disease including arthritis (8 patients) and arthralgias (4 patients). These patients were predominantly female (9/12) and were significantly older than patients without residual symptoms. Patients who had received intraarticular steroids prior to antibiotic treatment required significantly more courses of antibiotic treatment and the time required for disappearance of the arthritis was longer.

CONCLUSION: Pediatric Lyme arthritis is more benign in younger children. Lyme arthritis should be excluded as a possible cause of arthritis prior to the administration of intraarticular steroids.

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