Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 80, Issue 5, pp 568–572 | Cite as

Meningovascular form of neuroborreliosis: similarities between neuropathological findings in a case of Lyme disease and those occurring in tertiary neurosyphilis

  • J. Miklossy
  • T. Kuntzer
  • J. Bogousslavsky
  • F. Regli
  • R. C. Janzer
Case Reports


Recent observations have delineated the neurological manifestations of Lyme disease, but, to our knowledge, no detailed neuropathological study from autopsy cases has been reported. In this report we describe the neuropathological findings in a case of Lyme neuroborreliosis. The chronic meningitis, the occlusive meningo vascular and secondary parenchymal changes that we found are similar to those occurring in the meningovascular form of neurosyphilis. Thus, we suggest that the case described here represents the meningovascular form of tertiary Lyme neuroborreliosis.

Key words

Borrelia infections Central nervous system diseases Lyme disease Heubner's arteritis Neuropathology 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bannwarth A (1941) Chronische lymphocytaere Meningitis, entzündliche Polyneuritis und “Rheumatismus”. Arch Psychiatr Nervenkr 113:284–376Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Benach JL, Bosler EM, Hanrahan JP, Habicht GS, Bast TF, Cameron DJ, Ziegler JL, Barbour AG, Burgdorfer W, Edelman R, Kaslow RA (1983) Spirochetes isolated from the blood of two patients with Lyme disease. N Engl J Med 308:740–742Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Burgdorfer W, Barbour AG, Hayes SF, Benach JL, Grunwaldt E, Davis JP (1982) Lyme disease — a tick-borne spirochetosis? Science 216:1317–1319Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Catterall RD (1977) Neurosyphilis. Br J Hosp Med 17:585–604Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Craft JE, Grodzicki RL, Steere AC (1984) Antibody response in Lyme disease: evaluation of diagnostic tests. J Infect Dis 149:789–795Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dudley AW (1982) Cerebrospinal blood vessels — normal and diseased. In: Haymaker W, Adams RD (eds) Histology and histopathology of the nervous system, vol 1. CC Thomas, Springfield, pp 764–765Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Duray PH (1987) The surgical pathology of human Lyme disease. An enlarging picture. Am J Surg Pathol 11 [Suppl 1]: 47–60Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Garin C, Bujadoux (1922) Paralyisie par les tiques. J Med Lyon 3:765–767Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gelbjerg-Hansen G (1945) Erythema chronicum migrans Afzelii and meningitis after a tick bite. Acta Derm Venereol (Stockh) 25:458–463Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Halperin JJ, Luft BJ, Anand AK, Roque CT, Alvarez O, Volkman DJ, Dattwyler RJ (1989) Lyme neuroborreliosis: central nervous system manifestations. Neurology 39:753–759Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Heubner O (1874) Die luetische Erkrankung der Hirnarterien. FCW Vogel, LeipzigGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hyde FW, Johnson RC (1984) Genetic relationship of Lyme disease spirochetes to Borrelia, Treponema, and Leptospira spp. J Clin Microbiol 20:151–154Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kohler J, Kasper J, Kern U, Thoden U (1986) Borrelia encephalomyelitis. Lancet 11:35Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    MacDonald AB (1986) Borrelia in the brains of patients dying with dementia. JAMA 256:2195–2196Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Meier C, Grahmann F, Engelhardt A, Dumas M (1989) Peripheral nerve disorders in Lyme Borreliosis. Nerve biopsy studies from 8 cases. Acta Neuropathol 79:271–278Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Merlo A, Weder B, Ketz E, Matter L (1989) Locked-in state in Borrelia burgdorferi nieningitis. Neurology 236:305–306Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Merritt HH, Adams RD, Soloman HC (1946) Neurosyphilis. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Miklossy J, Van der Loos H (1990) The long distance effects of brain lesion: visualization of myelinated pathways in the human brain using polarizing and fluorescence microscopy. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol (in press)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pachner AR, Steere AC (1985) The triad of neurologic manifestations of Lyme disease: meningitis, cranial neuritis, and radiculoneuritis. Neurology 35:47–53Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pachner AR, Duray P, Steere AC (1989) Central nervous system manifestations of Lyme disease. Arch Neurol 46:790–795Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Steere AC, Malawista SE, Snydman DR, Shope RE, Andiman WA, Ross MR, Steele FM (1977) Lyme arthritis: an epidemic of oligoarticular arthritis in children and adults in three Connecticut communities. Arthritis Rheum 20:7–17Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Steere AC, Grodzicki RL, Kornblatt AN, Craft JE, Barbour AG, Burgdorfer W, Schmid GP, Johnson E, Malawista SE (1983) The spirochetal etiology of Lyme disease. N Engl J Med 308:733–740Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Miklossy
    • 1
  • T. Kuntzer
    • 2
  • J. Bogousslavsky
    • 2
  • F. Regli
    • 2
  • R. C. Janzer
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of NeuropathologyUniversity Institute of PathologyLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyCentre Hospitalier Universitaire VaudoisLausanneSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations