IMR Press / FBL / Volume 8 / Issue 6 / DOI: 10.2741/1065

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Lyme disease and the heart
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1 Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York 10595, USA

Academic Editor: Herbert B. Tanowitz

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2003, 8(6), 769–782; https://doi.org/10.2741/1065
Published: 1 September 2003
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infectious diseases of the myocardium)
Abstract

Lyme carditis is typically characterized by varying degrees of intermittent atrioventricular block occurring within weeks of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. Myocarditis and/or pericarditis may occur. Cardiomyopathy has been associated with B. burgdorferi in Europe, but not in the United States. Patients with unexplained atrioventricular block or myopericarditis should be questioned for recent travel to tick-endemic areas, and for a history of erythema migrans rash, "viral-like" illness, aseptic meningitis, cranial nerve palsy, radiculitis, or oligoarthritis. However, the absence of a recognized tick bite or rash does not rule out Lyme disease. The diagnosis of Lyme carditis should be supported by the presence of concurrent erythema migrans, or by positive results of 2-step laboratory testing for antibodies to B. burgdorferi. False positive results may occur, emphasizing the importance of clinical judgment in attributing specific manifestations to B. burgdorferi infection. Carditis generally resolves spontaneously, but antimicrobial therapy can shorten symptom duration and prevent potential cardiac and non-cardiac sequelae. Cardiac manifestations generally resolve spontaneously, but antimicrobial therapy can shorten symptom duration and prevent potential cardiac and non-cardiac sequelae. The prognosis for Lyme carditis is excellent.

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