Facial palsy with elevated protein in otherwise normal CSF in a child with Lyme disease

Infection. 1991 Jul-Aug;19(4):245-6. doi: 10.1007/BF01644954.


This is a report on an eight-year-old girl who presented with facial palsy, headache, fatigue, arthralgias and myalgias six weeks after two tick bites. Physical examination was unremarkable with the exception of a left-sided facial palsy. Laboratory investigation revealed normal complete blood count, ESR and CRP. The spinal tap showed a protein of 63 mg/dl, glucose 45 mg/dl and no cells. IFT titres to Borrelia burgdorferi in serum and CSF were significantly elevated. The diagnosis was supported by Western blot analysis. Treatment was started with ceftriaxone i.v. for a total of 14 days. Under this therapeutic regimen the patient improved substantially within five days. Investigation of CSF in patients with facial palsy may help to establish the diagnosis of Lyme disease by simultaneously measuring IFT to B. burgdorferi in serum and spinal fluid, even in cases where CSF shows little or no signs of inflammation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins / analysis
  • Child
  • Facial Paralysis / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Facial Paralysis / etiology*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Lyme Disease / blood
  • Lyme Disease / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Lyme Disease / complications*


  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M