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Neuroborreliosis with retinal pigment epithelium detachments.

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Abstract

Borreliosis or
Lyme disease, a tick-borne infection with the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, can cause various ocular and neurological symptoms. A 41-year-old man had been repeatedly bitten by ticks in June 1992; 6 months later, the patient complained of blurred vision in both eyes of 1-week duration, bifrontal headache that was more pronounced on the right side, and neck pain that had appeared months earlier and was becoming more severe. On ophthalmoscopy, clover-shaped retinal pigment epithelium detachments around the optic disc were observed in both eyes. The patient’s visual acuity was reduced to 0.5 in his left eye. Liquor cells and total protein were significantly increased; however, a hemagglutination inhibition test revealed only moderately increased immunoglobulin values. After 2 weeks of daily application of 4 g ceftriaxone disodium, ophthalmological and neurological symptoms disappeared. Even though the immunoglobulin values remained unchanged, neuroborreliosis with involvement of the retinal pigment epithelium was the most probable diagnosis, considering the history of tick bites and headache. The authors assume that the tissue around the optic nerve head, which does not have an effective blood-brain barrier, allowed the spirochetes to spread from the central nervous system into the subpigment-epithelium space, thus causing the observed parapapillary pigment epithelium detachments.

Ger J Ophthalmol. 1996 Jan;5(1):12-5. Case Reports

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