Lyme disease of the brainstem

Kalina P, Decker A, Kornel E, Halperin JJ.

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA, kalina.peter@mayo.edu.

Lyme disease is a multisystem infectious disease caused by the tick-borne spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. Central nervous system (CNS) involvement typically causes local inflammation, most commonly meningitis, but rarely parenchymal brain involvement. We describe a patient who presented with clinical findings suggesting a brainstem process. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) suggested a brainstem neoplasm. Prior to biopsy, laboratory evaluation led to the diagnosis of Lyme disease. Clinical and imaging abnormalities improved markedly following antimicrobial therapy.

We describe Lyme disease involvement of the cerebellar peduncles with hypermetabolism on PET. Although MRI is the primary imaging modality for most suspected CNS pathology, the practical applications of PET continue to expand.

PMID: 16158278 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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