The incidence of cardiac involvement in
Lyme disease (LD) has been estimated to be 4 to 10% in adults, with conduction and rhythm disturbances noted most frequently. To assess the frequency of electrocardiographic abnormalities in children with LD, we prospectively performed 12-lead electrocardiograms in 32 randomly selected children presenting with LD between May and September 1989. No patient had symptoms of cardiac involvement. Using defined diagnostic criteria, combining symptoms, signs, serology, and residence in or travel to an endemic area, 14 patients were classified as having definite LD and 10 were categorized as probable. The incidence of electrocardiographic abnormalities in the definite group was 29% (4/14), including two patients with 1 degree atrioventricular block, one with left axis deviation, and one with ventricular ectopy. Thirty percent (3/10) of the probable group had abnormal ECGs, including one with ST-T wave abnormalities, one with prominent sinus arrhythmia, sinus bradycardia, and wandering atrial pacemaker, and one with ectopic atrial bradycardia. No patient required cardiac therapy. The incidence of abnormal ECG findings in this group of children with either probable or definite LD was thus 29%, with 1 degree atrioventricular block noted most frequently. When the diagnosis of LD is highly suspected, an electrocardiogram may be a useful screening test for cardiac involvement.