1. Fatal Lyme carditis and endodermal heterotopia of the atrioventricular node.
Cary NR, Fox B, Wright DJ, Cutler SJ, Shapiro LM, Grace AA.
Postgrad Med J, 66(773):258. 1990.
A fatal case of Lyme carditis occurring in a Suffolk farmworker is reported. Post-mortem examination of the heart showed pericarditis, focal myocarditis and prominent endocardial and interstitial fibrosis. The additional finding of endodermal heterotopia ('mesothelioma') of the atrioventricular node raises the possibility that this could also be related to Lyme infection and account for the relatively frequent occurrence of atrioventricular block in this condition. Lyme disease should always be considered in a case of atrioventricular block, particularly in a young patient from a rural area. The heart block tends to improve and therefore only temporary pacing may be required.
2. Postmortem confirmation of Lyme carditis with polymerase chain reaction.
Tavora F, Burke A, Li L, Franks TJ, Virmani R.
Cardiovasc Pathol. 2008 Mar-Apr;17(2):103-7.
We describe the case of a 37-year-old Caucasian man with a 1-month history of fevers, rash, and malaise who died unexpectedly on the day after he underwent medical evaluation. The only clinical cardiac abnormality found was that of second-degree atrioventricular block. At autopsy, a diffuse carditis, characterized by infiltrates of macrophages, lymphocytes, and eosinophils and primarily in an interstitial, endocardial, and perivascular distribution, was found. Serologic testing from blood drawn on the day before his death demonstrated IgG and IgM antibodies against B. burgdorferi, confirmed by Western blot. Postmortem polymerase chain reaction (PCR) performed in myocardial tissue amplified B. burgdorferi DNA encoding outer-surface protein A.