Which synovial fluid findings are characteristic of Lyme septic arthritis?

Updated: Sep 19, 2017
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Findings from examination of the synovial fluid in Lyme arthritis are similar to those found in infection caused by any other type of bacterium. Positive serology results (ie, antibody measurements, Western blot, polymerase chain reaction [PCR] for Lyme disease) do not establish the diagnosis of Lyme arthritis. A positive result on any of these tests simply indicates that the patient has encountered B burgdorferi; a positive result does not necessarily establish a connection between the patient's musculoskeletal symptoms and Lyme disease.

Silver stains can be used to detect organisms in 5% of cases of Lyme arthritis.


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