Inflammatory brain changes in Lyme borreliosis.

 Brain. 1996 Dec;119, Pt 6:2143-54. Inflammatory brain changes in Lyme borreliosis. A 
report on three patients and review of literature. Oksi J, Kalimo H, Marttila RJ, Marjamäki M, 
Sonninen P, Nikoskelainen J, Viljanen MK.
Department of Internal Medicine, Turku University Central Hospital, Finland.
Despite a rapid increase in the number of patients with Lyme neuroborreliosis, LNB, its 
neuropathological aspects are poorly understood. The objective of this study was evaluation of 
neuropathological, microbiological, and magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, findings in three 
patients with the Borrelia burgdorferi infection and neurological disease from whom brain 
tissue specimens were available. Perivascular or vasculitic lymphocytic inflammation was 
detected20in all specimens. Large areas of demyelination in periventricular white matter were 
detected histologically and by MRI in one patient. The disease had a fatal outcome in this 
patient. Brain MRI suggested malignancies in two patients before histopathological studies 
were carried out. One of these two patients was a child with sudden hemiparesis. Another was 
a 40-year-old man presenting with epileptic seizures and MRI-detected multifocal lesions, 
which disappeared after repeated courses of antibiotics. We conclude that cerebral lymphocytic
47vasculitis and multifocal encephalitis may be associated with B. burgdorferi infection. The 
presence of B. burgdorferi DNA in tissue samples from areas with inflammatory changes 
indicates that direct invasion of B. burgdorferi may be the pathogenetic mechanism for focal 
encephalitis in LNB.
"In one of the six analysed brain tissue specimens [from a patient who had received more than six 
months of antibiotic treatment prior to death, including two 3-week courses of IV ceftriaxone], B. 
burgdorferi DNA was detected by PCR.

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