Objective: To compare the detection rates of chromosomal flagellin gene from Borrelia burgdorferi in synovial tissue (ST) and synovial fluid (SF) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques.
Methods: B burgdorferi DNA was sought in SF and ST from 12 consecutive patients with Lyme arthritis and from 29 patients with noninfectious diseases (controls).
Results: No DNA amplification was observed in samples obtained from the 29 control patients, whereas B burgdorferi DNA was detected in all ST and/or SF samples from the 12 patients with Lyme arthritis. Results from 1 ST sample were not interpretable because of PCR inhibitors. Among the 11 remaining patients, 10 had positive ST samples, whereas only 4 had positive SF samples (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: These data suggest that detection of chromosomal B burgdorferi DNA may be more efficient in ST than SF.