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Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2008 Jun;22(2):341-60, vii-viii. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2007.12.011.

Chronic Lyme disease: a review.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. amarques@niaid.nih.gov

Abstract

Studies have shown that most patients diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease either have no objective evidence of previous or current infection with Borrelia burgdorferi or are patients who should be classified as having post-Lyme disease syndrome, which is defined as continuing or relapsing nonspecific symptoms (such as fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, and cognitive complaints) in a patient previously treated for Lyme disease. Despite extensive study, there is currently no clear evidence that post-Lyme disease syndrome is caused by persistent infection with B burgdorferi. Four randomized placebo-controlled studies have shown that antibiotic therapy offers no sustained benefit to patients who have post-Lyme disease syndrome. These studies also showed a substantial placebo effect and a significant risk of treatment-related adverse events. Further research to elucidate the mechanisms underlying persistent symptoms after Lyme disease and controlled trials of new approaches to the treatment and management of these patients are needed.

PMID:
18452806
PMCID:
PMC2430045
DOI:
10.1016/j.idc.2007.12.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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