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Sudden cardiac death associated with Lyme - recent paper

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease and Co-Infections' started by Mel9, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. Mel9

    Mel9 Senior Member

    NSW Australia
    • I do not have access to this paper myself . The Abstract is interesting (alarming!). I wonder if we are able to ensure that autopsies are done when we die, in case this might help other patients?

    Am J Pathol. 2016 Mar 8. pii: S0002-9440(16)00099-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.12.027. [Epub ahead of print]
    Cardiac Tropism of Borrelia burgdorferi: An Autopsy Study of Sudden Cardiac Death Associated with Lyme Carditis.
    Muehlenbachs A1, Bollweg BC2, Schulz TJ3, Forrester JD4, DeLeon Carnes M2, Molins C4, Ray GS3, Cummings PM5, Ritter JM2, Blau DM2,Andrew TA6, Prial M7, Ng DL2, Prahlow JA8, Sanders JH2, Shieh WJ2, Paddock CD9, Schriefer ME4, Mead P4, Zaki SR2.
    Author information

    Fatal Lyme carditis caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi rarely is identified. Here, we describe the pathologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular findings of five case patients. These sudden cardiac deaths associated with Lyme carditis occurred from late summer to fall, ages ranged from young adult to late 40s, and four patients were men. Autopsy tissue samples were evaluated by light microscopy, Warthin-Starry stain, immunohistochemistry, and PCR for B. burgdorferi, and immunohistochemistry for complement components C4d and C9, CD3, CD79a, and decorin. Post-mortem blood was tested by serology. Interstitial lymphocytic pancarditis in a relatively characteristic road map distribution was present in all cases. Cardiomyocyte necrosis was minimal, T cells outnumbered B cells, plasma cells were prominent, and mild fibrosis was present. Spirochetes in the cardiac interstitium associated with collagen fibers and co-localized with decorin. Rare spirochetes were seen in the leptomeninges of two cases by immunohistochemistry. Spirochetes were not seen in other organs examined, and joint tissue was not available for evaluation. Although rare, sudden cardiac death caused by Lyme disease might be an under-recognized entity and is characterized by pancarditis and marked tropism of spirochetes for cardiac tissues.

    Published by Elsevier Inc.



    [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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    merylg and Valentijn like this.
  2. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

    From the CDC site:
    Prior to that 2013 paper, only 4 fatal cases of heart block caused by Lyme, out of 30,000 per year over 23 years in the U.S. alone, were on record. For most doctors that meant the risk was negligible. This single paper changes the published statistics of fatal Lyme disease.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
    merylg, Valentijn and Mel9 like this.
  3. valentinelynx

    valentinelynx Senior Member

    Ah, but you do, through the wonders of Sci-Hub.
    Click here for full paper (or put any papers DOI# into the blanks at Sci-Hub. (
    Mel9, Valentijn and merylg like this.

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