Lyme carditis: Things can get complicated when Lyme disease affects heart function

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It’s important to know if you live in or have visited an area where Lyme disease is endemic. (Shutterstock)


(Adrian Baranchuk/ The Conversation) — Lyme disease is a tick-born infection caused by bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme carditis is an early manifestation of Lyme disease that can occur two to six weeks after the tick bite.

Approximately five to 10 per cent of patients presenting to family doctors’ clinics or emergency departments with symptoms of Lyme disease may develop Lyme carditis. The prevalence of Lyme disease in Canada continues to increase year after year. Nearly 2,700 people were diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2019, but the number of reported cases may not reflect the actual number of cases.

yme carditis most commonly manifests as high-degree atrioventricular block: a complete shut-down of the electrical system of the heart that can evolve rapidly over minutes, hours or days, producing severe symptoms like fainting, extreme dizziness or sudden death. (…)

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