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Cardiac manifestations of Lyme borreliosis with special reference to contractile dysfunction.

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Abstract

Borrelia burgdorferi infection (BBI) is suggested to be associated with dilated cardiomyopathy (IDC). Stanek et al. were able to cultivate Borrelia burgdorferi (BB) from myocardial biopsy tissue of a patient with longstanding dilated cardiomyopathy. Here we present a study in which we examined the effect of standard antibiotic treatment on the left ventricular ejection fraction (LV-EF) in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy associated with BBI. In this study we assessed the serum (IgG, IgM ELISA; Western Blot) and the history of 46 IDC-patients with specific respect spect to BBI (mean LV-EF: 30.4 +/- 1.3%; measured by cardiac catheterisation and echocardiography–length-area-volume method). All 46 patients received standard treatment for dilated cardiomyopathy: ACE-inhibitors, digitalis and diuretics. 11 (24%) patients showed positive serology and a history of BBI; 9 of these also had a typical history of tick bite and erythema chronicum migrans (ECM) and/or other organ involvement, 2 had no recollection of tick bite or EMC, but showed other BB-associated disorders (neuropathy, oligoarthritis). These 11 patients with BBI received standard antibiotic treatment with intravenous ceftriaxone 2 g bid for 14 days. 6 (55%) recovered completely and showed a normal LV-EF after 6 months, 3 (27%) improved their LV-EF and 2 (18%) did not improve at all. This amounts to 9 (82%) recovery/improvement in the BB-group. The 35 patients who did not show positive serology or a history of BBI did not receive antibiotic treatment. In this group without BBI 12 (26%) showed recovery/improvement following the standard treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy (see above). Our results indicate that BBI could play a decisive role in the development of dilated cardiomyopathy, especially in a geographical region as Graz, where BB is endemic. While aware of the small number of BB-patients in this study, we nevertheless conclude that, in a remarkable number of patients with signs of BBI, dilated cardiomyopathy could be reversed and LV-EF improved upon standard antibiotic treatment.

Acta Med Austriaca. 1998;25(2):44-50. English Abstract

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