Send to

Choose Destination
Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2002 Jul 31;114(13-14):524-9.

Children with multiple erythema migrans: are there any pre-treatment symptoms and/or signs suggestive for central nervous system involvement?

Author information

Department of Infectious Diseases, University Medical Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia.



To establish eventual signs and symptoms suggestive for central nervous system involvement in children with multiple erythema migrans.


Patients younger than 15 years with multiple erythema migrans, diagnosed at our department from 1996 to 2000, were included in this prospective study. Demographic, clinical and laboratory findings were obtained and compared for a group of patients with pleocytosis (interpreted as a sign of central nervous system involvement) and a group of children with normal cerebrospinal fluid findings.


Cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis (cell counts > or = 5 x 10(6)/l) was detected in 55/214 (25.7%) children; it was lymphocytic in 94.5% of patients and ranged from 5 to 320 (median, 10 x 10(6)/l). Compared with the group with normal cerebrospinal fluid findings, patients with pleocytosis more often reported having had Lyme borreliosis in the past (8/55 versus 3/159; p = 0.0011), had longer incubation periods (25.5 versus 14 days; p = 0.0269), larger diameter of the largest erythema migrans at the time of first examination (10 versus 5.5 cm; p = 0.0055), higher frequency of associated systemic symptoms (45.5% versus 21.4%; p = 0.0011), positive meningeal signs (10.9% versus 1.9%; p = 0.0100), borrelial IgG antibodies in cerebrospinal fluid (3/49 versus 0/150; p = 0.0142) and B. burgdorferi s.l. isolated from cerebrospinal fluid (7/52 versus 1/147; p = 0.0004), but less often had mild initial disease (67.3% versus 88.7%; p = 0.0006).


Cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis was detected in 25.7% of children with multiple erythema migrans. Although several clinical and laboratory abnormalities were present significantly more often in patients with elevated cell counts than with normal cerebrospinal fluid findings, discriminatory significance for the majority of these abnormalities was low, particularly because of low negative predictive values. In more than 2/3 of patients with pleocytosis the initial disease was mild, fewer than 1/2 reported systemic symptoms, and meningeal signs were expressed in only 11%.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center