Lyme carditis is a bacterial infection of the heart caused by Lyme disease.
The bacteria hinders your heart's electrical system, as it enters the heart tissue and can interfere with electrical signals, causing a condition called heart block.
Symptoms of Lyme carditis include lightheadedness, fainting, heart palpitations, chest pains, and shortness of breath.
Treatment options include antibiotics and/or a temporary pacemaker.
To request an appointment, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute:
Lyme carditis is a rare infection that occurs when Lyme bacteria enters your heart tissue. The bacteria affects your heart's electrical system.
Your heartbeat slows, and electrical signals have trouble traveling from your heart's upper chambers to the lower chambers. Doctors call this condition heart block.
There are three degrees of heart block:
The bacteria that enters your heart comes from Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that spreads most often through black-legged tick bites.
Symptoms of Lyme carditis include:
These symptoms can also appear alongside symptoms of Lyme disease such as:
Your doctor may order imaging scans and other tests to diagnose Lyme carditis and check your heart's functioning.
The best way to prevent Lyme carditis is to avoid Lyme disease.
When removed quickly, the likelihood of getting Lyme disease from a tick is low.
Taking antibiotics for two to three weeks will treat the bacterial infection. Most people recover from the Lyme carditis infection with antibiotic treatment.
Lyme carditis symptoms resolve within one to six weeks.
In some cases, you may need a temporary pacemaker implanted to correct the heart rate.