The Pediatric Forum
September 1998

Facial Palsy in Lyme Disease

Author Affiliations

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Copyright 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1998

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998;152(9):928-929. doi:

Belman et al1 do not report whether the accepted confirmatory serologic test for Lyme disease, the serum immunoblot,2 was performed on their patients. It is well established that enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods for total antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi have a high false-positive rate. No cerebrospinal fluid assay, other than culture for B burgdorferi or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for B burgdorferi DNA, is accepted as specific. Thus, Lyme disease was not confirmed in their patients and several or all may have had idiopathic Bell palsy.

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