Lyme Carditis

What is Lyme carditis?
Sometimes the Lyme bacteria enter into the heart. This affects the way that the electrical signals travel between the upper and lower chambers—a process that may interfere with a patient’s heart beat and thus lead to something called “heart block.”

Is Lyme carditis treatable?
For many patients, intravenous antibiotics are enough to stop Lyme carditis. Symptoms usually dissipate within 1-6 weeks after the start of antibiotic treatments.

How often does Lyme carditis occur?
Thankfully, Lyme carditis is extremely rare. It occurs in approximately 1% of treated patients according to the CDC. That number increases to around 4-10% in untreated patients, and males are three times as likely to develop Lyme carditis as females.

What are the symptoms of Lyme carditis?
Lyme carditis has a variety of symptoms, including syncope, dyspnea, light-headedness, palpitations, and chest pain. Some patients are asymptomatic (and are unaware they have any cardiac dysfunction) while others suffer from many issues including permanent heart block.

Is Lyme carditis fatal?
It can be, but only in rare cases. From 1985 to 2008, there were only four confirmed deaths worldwide due to Lyme carditis.