, Volume 47, Issue 12, pp 903–907 | Cite as

Lyme disease of the brainstem

  • Peter KalinaEmail author
  • Andrew Decker
  • Ezriel Kornel
  • John J. Halperin
Diagnostic Neuroradiology


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.


Lyme disease Brainstem MRI PET 



We thank Ronald Van Heertum, MD for providing the PET images.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Kalina
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrew Decker
    • 2
  • Ezriel Kornel
    • 3
  • John J. Halperin
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyNorthern Westchester Hospital CenterMt. KiscoUSA
  3. 3.Division of NeurosurgeryNorthern Westchester Hospital CenterUSA
  4. 4.Department of NeurologyNorth Shore University HospitalManhassetUSA

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