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Four patients with
Lyme borreliosis had atrioventricular conduction disturbances. All four were positive for specific antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi measured by indirect immunofluorescence tests. Biopsy specimens, which were obtained in three patients, showed band-like infiltrates of plasma cells and lymphocytes in the endocardium. There was diffuse infiltration of the interstitium of the myocardium by lymphocytes, plasma cells, and macrophages. In two patients single fibre necrosis was seen in the myocardium. Biopsy specimens of the heart showed spirochetes in all three patients and serial sections stained by the Bosma-Steiner technique showed that they resembled Borrelia burgdorferi. At follow up one patient had persistent complete atrioventricular block, despite treatment with antibiotics and corticosteroid, and a permanent pacemaker was implanted.