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Relevance of the antibody index to diagnose lyme neuroborreliosis among seropositive patients

TittelRelevance of the antibody index to diagnose lyme neuroborreliosis among seropositive patients
ForfatterLjostad U, Mygland A
EmnerAntistoffer, Borreliose
KommentarBruk av antistofftester for å påvise borreliose.
SammendragNo consensual criteria exist to diagnose neuroborreliosis. The intrathecal anti-Borrelia antibody index (AI) is a necessary criterion to diagnose neuroborreliosis in Europe, but not in the United States. Previous studies to determine the diagnostic value of the AI found a sensitivity ranging from 55% to 80%. However, these studies included only typical clinical cases of meningitis or meningoradiculitis, and none had a control group with CSF anti-Borrelia antibodies. METHODS: We studied a sample of 123 consecutive patients with clinical signs of neurologic involvement and CSF anti-Borrelia antibodies. We determined the AI for all patients and a final diagnosis was made. Patients were then divided into three groups (neuroborreliosis, possible neuroborreliosis, control). RESULTS: Thirty of the 40 patients with neuroborreliosis had a positive AI (AI sensitivity = 75%). Two of the 74 patients with another neurologic diagnosis had a positive AI (AI specificity = 97%). CONCLUSION: The antibody index has a very good specificity but only moderate sensitivity. Given the lack of consensual criteria for neuroborreliosis and the absence of a \\\\\\\"gold standard\\\\\\\" diagnostic test, we propose pragmatic diagnostic criteria for neuroborreliosis, namely the presence of four of the following five items: no past history of neuroborreliosis, positive CSF ELISA serology, positive anti-Borrelia antibody index, favorable outcome after specific antibiotic treatment, and no differential diagnosis. These new criteria will need to be tested in a larger, prospective cohort.