Oculopalpebral borreliosis as an unusual manifestation of Lyme disease

Cornea. 2013 Jan;32(1):87-90. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e318243e45c.


Purpose: To report the case of acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans as an ocularpalpebral manifestation of Lyme borreliosis, with peripheral keratopathy and associated vasculitis.

Methods: Case report.

Results: A 16-year-old girl, with a 4-year history of recurrent left eye photophobia, intense redness, and superior eyelid edema, presented with lid erythema, ptosis, superficial venous tortuosity, conjunctival hyperemia, corneal thinning with precipitates, and vascularization. Borrelia burgdorferi was confirmed by immunoblotting. Treatments with doxycycline followed by ceftriaxone were only partially effective. Eyelid biopsy revealed spirochetes and vasculitis with deposition of immunoglobulin G. Oral cefuroxime for 28 days was ineffective. Due to the vasculitis, immunosuppression with azathioprine and topical cyclosporine were given for 4 months. Since then she has been free of flare-ups.

Conclusions: Lyme borreliosis should be considered in patients with recurrent chronic lid edema and associated keratopathy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Azathioprine / therapeutic use
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / immunology
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / isolation & purification*
  • Corneal Ulcer / diagnosis*
  • Corneal Ulcer / drug therapy
  • Corneal Ulcer / microbiology
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Eyelid Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Eyelid Diseases / drug therapy
  • Eyelid Diseases / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Lyme Disease / diagnosis*
  • Lyme Disease / drug therapy
  • Lyme Disease / microbiology
  • Vasculitis / diagnosis*
  • Vasculitis / drug therapy
  • Vasculitis / microbiology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclosporine
  • Azathioprine