Pseudotumor cerebri in Lyme disease: a case report and literature review

Pediatr Neurol. 1998 May;18(5):439-41. doi: 10.1016/s0887-8994(97)00215-4.


Pseudotumor cerebri is an unusual presentation of Lyme disease. The case of an 8-year-old girl with pseudotumor cerebri secondary to acute neuroborreliosis is reported. She presented with acute onset of headache, papilledema, sixth nerve palsy, increased intracranial pressure, and cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis. Serum and cerebrospinal fluid Lyme antibodies were positive. Twelve reported cases that mostly presented with systemic findings and signs of Lyme disease before development of pseudotumor cerebri were reviewed. We conclude that acute neuroborreliosis can present with pseudotumor cerebri as an initial manifestation. It is important to include Lyme disease in the differential diagnosis of pseudotumor cerebri in an area endemic for Lyme disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abducens Nerve
  • Acetazolamide / therapeutic use
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / isolation & purification*
  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Ceftriaxone / therapeutic use
  • Cephalosporins / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / microbiology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lyme Disease / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Lyme Disease / complications*
  • Lyme Disease / drug therapy
  • Meningoencephalitis / drug therapy
  • Meningoencephalitis / microbiology
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / drug therapy
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / microbiology*
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / physiopathology


  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors
  • Cephalosporins
  • Ceftriaxone
  • Acetazolamide