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Somatic symptom disorder should be suspected in children with alleged chronic Lyme disease

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We report a case series of seven children admitted to a tertiary level pediatric ward for long-lasting physical symptoms with a previous diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease. In these children, medical history and clinical features were strongly suggestive of a psychopathological disorder, mainly a somatic symptom disorder.

What is Known:

• There is an increasing number of diagnoses of chronic Lyme disease both in North America and in Europe. Adults receive this diagnosis to explain chronic physical complaints often with negative history and serology.

What is New:

• Somatic symptom disorder should be suspected in children and adolescents with non-specific symptoms diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease.

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Chronic Lyme disease


Somatic symptom disorder


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Authors and Affiliations



F.P., D.N. and G.C. had primary responsibility for writing the manuscript.

F.P., D.N., A.V., G.M. and A.O. were responsible for data collection.

E.B. has supervised and contributed to the writing of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Francesca Peri.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Communicated by Nicole Ritz

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Peri, F., Nisticò, D., Morabito, G. et al. Somatic symptom disorder should be suspected in children with alleged chronic Lyme disease. Eur J Pediatr 178, 1297–1300 (2019).

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