Brief, recurrent, and spontaneous episodes of loss of consciousness in a healthy young male

Sherly Abraham, Sarath Reddy, Joseph Abboud, Krishnamurthy Jonnalagadda, Sasi K. Ghanta, Vasantha Kondamudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Lyme disease is caused by bacterial spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted by Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus ticks, which get infected while feeding on the reservoir host of the bacteria.1 About 248,074 cases of Lyme disease were reported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1992-2006.2 Over 95% of these cases are reported from the Northeastern and upper Midwestern United States.3 Carditis is usually a clinical manifestation/complication of Lyme disease and is seen in approximately 5% of untreated cases.4 Case presentation: A 32-year-old male Hispanic from Chile presented with brief episodes of loss of consciousness and awareness of irregular heart beat, and denied any history of tick bite. The patient was found to have a heart rate of 40 beats per minute and fluctuating variable atrioventricular blocks. A transvenous pacemaker was placed with good capture. The diagnosis was made with serological testing and gallium scanning. Treatment with antibiotics and continuous cardiac monitoring resulted in remarkable symptomatic improvement of the patient. Conclusion: Absence of history or evidence of tick bite must not rule out the possibility of Lyme carditis in a patient with a transient heart block. Prompt recognition of this reversible cause of heart block is essential for avoiding implantation of an unnecessary, permanent pacemaker.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Medical Case Reports Journal
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Lyme carditis
  • Transient heart block

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