[Acute abdominal pain caused by neuroborreliosis].Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2018 Jul 05; 162NT
Lyme disease is a multisystem disease which can present itself in several ways. When the nervous system is involved, it is called Lyme neuroborreliosis. Both central and peripheral nervous systems can be affected.
A 39-year-old man visited the emergency department multiple times with severe abdominal-pain attacks with motoric unrest. Extensive diagnostic work-up was done, which was initially inconclusive. Lyme neuroborreliosis was suspected when he developed a facial-nerve palsy during admission; the abdominal pain was thought to be caused by thoracic radiculoneuropathy. Serologic testing for antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi was positive, confirming the diagnosis. The patient was treated with intravenous ceftriaxone.
This case shows abdominal pain being caused by radiculoneuropathy at thoracic level, an uncommon presentation of Lyme neuroborreliosis. Often, this diagnosis is only made when neurological paralysis occurs. Information regarding skin lesions or a recent tick bite can lead to earlier recognition of the diagnosis.