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Eur Neurol. 1993;33(2):149-51.

Incidence of nervous system Borrelia burgdorferi infection in patients with lumboradicular syndrome.

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Department of Neurology, University Hospital Innsbruck, Austria.


We investigated 103 consecutive patients primarily admitted to our Department of Neurosurgery (36 women, age: median 44, range 21-79; 67 men, age: 47, range 19-77) suffering from low back pain radiating into one or both legs. Neurological examination combined with computer tomography and lumbar myelography revealed lumbar-disc herniation in 74, vertebrostenosis in 10 and relapsed disc herniation in 9 patients. In 9 patients the diagnosis of pseudoradicular syndrome was established without definite neuroradiological morphological evidence. Two patients were diagnosed as having polyneuropathy, and 1 patient suffered from a nervus ischiadicus lesion due to a gluteal abscess. CSF of all patients was examined according to a fixed routine schedule (cells, protein, sugar, immunoglobulins, IgG index). Antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi were found in the serum and CSF of 5.8%, and in the serum alone of 2% of patients. Intrathecally produced specific antibodies were detected in 3 patients (2.9%) with neuroradiological evidence of disc or spinal-canal disease, indicating the coexistence of previous CNS infection by B. burgdorferi with lumbar-disc herniation. None of the patients showed CSF pleocytosis; thus, in no case was acute radiculitis due to B. burgdorferi infection diagnosed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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