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JAMA. 1988 May 13;259(18):2737-9.

Fatal adult respiratory distress syndrome in a patient with Lyme disease.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Montefiore Hospital, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA 15213.


A dry cough, fever, generalized maculopapular rash, and myositis developed in a 67-year-old woman; she also had markedly abnormal liver function test results. Serologic tests proved that she had an infection of recent onset with Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent that causes Lyme disease. During a two-month course of illness, her condition remained refractory to treatment with antibiotics, salicylates, and steroids. Ultimately, fatal adult respiratory distress syndrome developed; this was believed to be secondary to Lyme disease.

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