Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Case Reports
. 2015 Jul;24(7):1671-8.
doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2015.03.056. Epub 2015 May 20.

Cerebrovascular Events in Lyme Neuroborreliosis

Case Reports

Cerebrovascular Events in Lyme Neuroborreliosis

Basile Wittwer et al. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. .


Background: Cerebrovascular events in neuroborreliosis are a rare condition described only in isolated or small case series. No specific clinical or radiological features have been identified, and diagnosis is based on very different criteria.

Methods: We retrospectively describe cases diagnosed in the Stroke Unit of Nancy Hospital, located in the endemic area of the northeast of France. We also reviewed other cases found in the literature.

Results: We identified 5 cases in our center and 57 other reported cases. Mean age was 39 years (range 5 to 77). Possible previous contact with Borrelia burgdorferi (B burgdorferi) was found in about half of cases. Additional neurologic symptoms (headache, cognitive impairment, and/or gait disturbance) were found in 44% of cases. Cerebral imaging revealed both ischemic (87%) and hemorrhagic lesions (13%) with a multiterritorial aspect in 22% of strokes, and signs of vasculitis in 71%. Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) revealed lymphocytic meningitis in 90% of cases and elevated protein level in 86%. CSF/serum anti-B burgdorferi antibody index (AI) was positive in 91% of cases. Outcome was favorable after appropriate antibiotic treatment. Our 5 patients presented a modified Rankin scale score 0-1, without any stroke recurrence, after a median follow-up of 2.8 years.

Conclusions: The diagnosis of Lyme neuroborreliosis should be considered for patients with cerebrovascular events without obvious cause living in an endemic area, in the presence of repeat multiterritorial strokes at short intervals, other neurologic symptoms, a history of B burgdorferi infection, and radiological signs of vasculitis. Diagnosis can be confirmed by CSF analysis with AI but with an incomplete sensitivity.

Keywords: Borrelia burgdorferi; cerebrovascular diseases; cerebrovascular events; lyme vasculitis; neuroborreliosis; stroke.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 8 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms


LinkOut - more resources