P-ISSN: 2707-8345, E-ISSN: 2707-8353
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International Journal of Case Reports in Orthopaedics
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International Journal of Case Reports in Orthopaedics

2022, Vol. 4, Issue 2, Part A

A rare case of transverse myelitis in a patient with Lyme disease


Author(s): Latrice Johnson, Sabrina Aaron, Regan Burgess, Rolanda Willacy and Damirez Fossett

Abstract: Acute transverse myelitis (ATM) is an inflammatory disease of the spinal cord, characterized by rapid onset of bilateral neurological symptoms. The term myelitis refers to inflammation of the spinal cord, which often leads to demyelination. The clinical finding of a pattern of altered sensation is often a horizontal band-like sensation at the dermatomal level of the lesion, with sensory changes below. The symptoms usually develop over hours to days; they typically present as muscle weakness, ascending paralysis, and autonomic dysfunction. Recovery is variable, but often prolonged over many months, and can lead to a wide range of deficits.1 Our report reviews a unique case of transverse myelitis in a patient with Lyme disease. A 27 year old male presented to the emergency department with past medical history of diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia with a week long history of fever to 102℉, non-productive cough, nausea, and decreased motor function and sensation in the bilateral lower extremities. Strength was intact in bilateral biceps, triceps, and wrists, but diminished in bilateral hips, knees, and ankles. Sensation to light touch was diminished from the level of T8 and below, fine touch sensation diminished from the level of T10 and below, and there was diminished proprioception in bilateral toes. There was intact pain sensation in all extremities and hyperreflexia in bilateral upper extremities. An MRI was obtrained which demonstrated cervical syrinx with expansion of the spinal cord and resultant cervical stenosis with cord compression indicating need for surgical intervention. A posterior cervical decompressive laminectomy at levels C4-C7 and posterior thoracic decompressive laminectomy at level T1 were scheduled, with a subsequent lumbar puncture. Serum findings were significant for elevated Lyme disease antibody titer (7.89) and antibody reaction to 8 borrelial proteins. After detection of Lyme disease, the patient was started on antibiotics. Over the course of the hospital stay, motor function continually improved with the aid of physical therapy. Sensation also significantly improved. Lyme disease may not always be identifiable with CSF collection from lumbar puncture, and as a result the etiology of ATM may go unknown. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a common differential which has a similar presentation. However, the treatment consists of plasmapheresis and immunoglobulin. This is an important distinction in order to to provide the appropriate treatment modalities to the patient.

DOI: 10.22271/27078345.2022.v4.i2a.118

Pages: 21-23 | Views: 192 | Downloads: 88

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How to cite this article:
Latrice Johnson, Sabrina Aaron, Regan Burgess, Rolanda Willacy, Damirez Fossett. A rare case of transverse myelitis in a patient with Lyme disease. Int J Case Rep Orthop 2022;4(2):21-23. DOI: 10.22271/27078345.2022.v4.i2a.118


International Journal of Case Reports in Orthopaedics