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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Internal Medicine

Advisor

Dr. Elyse Watkins

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this continuing medical education (CME) article is to review information regarding the early identification and management of the complications of Lyme disease including Lyme carditis, Lyme neuroborreliosis, and Lyme arthritis.

Method: A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms of “Lyme disease,” “Lyme carditis,” “Lyme neuroborreliosis,” and “Lyme arthritis.” Fifteen relevant articles were retrieved and used as the basis for this CME article.

Results: There are a variety of Lyme disease complications that can occur as a result of undiagnosed or untreated Lyme disease including Lyme carditis, Lyme arthritis, and Lyme neuroborreliosis.

Conclusion: Lyme disease is most commonly caused by the spirochete bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and can present in three different phases: localized disease, early disseminated disease, and late disease. Complications of Lyme disease often occur during early disseminated or late disease. The clinician must maintain a high index of suspicion to aid in the early recognition and treatment of Lyme disease complications. Early treatment with appropriate antibiotics often leads to improved clinical outcomes.

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