To establish, in patients referred with persisting noninflammatory musculoskeletal complaints, diagnosed elsewhere with Lyme disease, whether Lyme disease was present.
Outpatient Clinic for Rheumatology, Eemland Hospital Amersfoort and University Hospital Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Patients were classified as having had Lyme disease in the past, having ongoing Lyme disease of no Lyme disease at all, on the basis of clinical history, physical examination, and classification criteria for Lyme disease.
In a two-year period 37 consecutive patients (mean age 50 years) were examined, 20 (54) of whom had (a history of) Lyme disease. Of these 20, two suffered from erythema migrans, one of synovitis of the knee, and one of acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans (these four had not been treated), while one had persistent chronic oligoarthritis. Seventeen patients dit not have Lyme disease, but were suffering from aspecific, noninflammatory musculoskeletal problems.
In this patient group with persisting musculoskeletal complaints, ‘Lyme disease’ had been diagnosed correctly as often as incorrectly.