Does anyone know if Scleroderma can be triggered by Lyme? After finding a bull's eye on my leg in 2000, a couple of years later my skin started getting thicker and tighter and I am told I have scleroderma. Could there be a link between the two? I am at a loss and don't know what to do?
Posts: 123 | From Los Angeles | Registered: Oct 2006
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I have scleroderma (the skin variety) with lesions on my face. There is a definite association between (at least my type of scleroderma) and LD. It is an autoimmune disease where antibodies formed against the LD bacteria cross react with our normal collagen tissue.
Posts: 99 | From Bucks County, PA | Registered: Aug 2008
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1: J Am Acad Dermatol. 1993 Aug;29(2 Pt 1):190-6. Links Localized scleroderma associated with Borrelia burgdorferi infection. Clinical, histologic, and immunohistochemical observations. Buechner SA, Winkelmann RK, Lautenschlager S, Gilli L, Rufli T. Department of Dermatology, University of Basel, Switzerland.
BACKGROUND: Recent reports have implicated Borrelia burgdorferi infection as a possible cause of localized scleroderma (LS). OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to describe the clinical, histologic, and immunopathologic features of patients with LS who had serum antibodies to B. burgdorferi. METHODS: Ten patients were examined clinically and by routine microscopy. Biopsy specimens from seven patients were studied immunohistochemically with monoclonal antibodies. The proliferative response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to B. burgdorferi was investigated in seven patients by lymphocyte proliferation assay. RESULTS: Seven patients had plaque-type morphea, and three patients had linear scleroderma. Two patients had a history of previous erythema migrans. One patient had coexistent acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, and in two patients lichen sclerosus et atrophicus was observed. Histologically, a prominent inflammatory phase with sclerosis of the connective tissue was shown in all patients. Immunohistochemical studies revealed that the inflammatory infiltrates consisted of both B and T lymphocytes, predominantly of the CD4+ subset. All 10 patients had strongly elevated serum antibodies to B. burgdorferi. Patients with LS showed significantly elevated lymphoproliferative responses to B. burgdorferi when compared with healthy control subjects. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that some cases of LS are linked to Borrelia infection.
Arch Dermatol. 1995 Jun;131(6):673-7. Links Lymphoproliferative responses to Borrelia burgdorferi in patients with erythema migrans, acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, lymphadenosis benigna cutis, and morphea. Buechner SA, Lautenschlager S, Itin P, Bircher A, Erb P. Department of Dermatology, Kantonsspital, University of Basel, Switzerland.
BACKGROUND AND DESIGN: Specific humoral and cell-mediated immune responses play an important role in the pathogenesis of Lyme borreliosis. Several previous studies demonstrated that a specific cellular immune response to Borrelia burgdorferi can occur independently of a diagnostic humoral response. Little is known about T-cell reactivities against B burgdorferi in early and late cutaneous manifestations of Lyme borreliosis. We studied the lymphoproliferative response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to B burgdorferi antigen from 99 patients (25 with erythema migrans, 16 with acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, 13 with lymphadenosis benigna cutis, and 45 with localized scleroderma) and 21 control subjects. The results are expressed as a stimulation index (SI) (mean count per minute of triplicate cultures with stimulant divided by mean count per minute without stimulant). The serum samples from all patients and control subjects were tested for antibodies to B burgdorferi by indirect immunofluorescence assay. RESULTS: The 21 healthy seronegative controls had an SI of 3.3 +/- 2.0 (mean +/- SD). Compared with that of control subjects, the SIs were significantly elevated in patients with erythema migrans (9.8 +/- 9.1), acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans (11.8 +/- 8.2), and lymphadenosis benigna cutis (7.2 +/- 6.2). The 45 patients with localized scleroderma had elevated proliferative responses, with an SI of 6.5 +/- 7.3, but these responses did not significantly differ from those of controls. Elevated titers of antibodies to B burgdorferi were present in six (24%) of 25 patients with erythema migrans, five (38%) of 13 patients with lymphadenosis benigna cutis, and 13 (29%) of 45 patients with localized scleroderma. All 16 patients with acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans had markedly elevated antibody titers. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show that a significant lymphoproliferative response to B burgdorferi occurs in the majority of patients with cutaneous manifestations of Lyme borreliosis. The lymphocyte proliferation assay may be of diagnostic value in patients in whom Lyme borreliosis is strongly clinically suspected and who have nondiagnostic levels of antibodies against B burgdorferi.
1: Br J Dermatol. 1996 Feb;134(2):285-91. Links Lymphoproliferative responses to Borrelia burgdorferi in circumscribed scleroderma. Breier P, Klade H, Stanek G, Poitschek C, Kirnbauer R, Dorda W, Aberer E. Department of Dermatology, University of Vienna, Austria.
Humoral immune responses to Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) have been reported to occur in certain patients with circumscribed scleroderma (CS) (morphoea). Together with the isolation of spirochaetes from CS skin biopsies, this finding was taken to suggest Bb as the aetiological agent of CS. Since there is cellular immunoreactivity to Bb in patients with chronic Lyme borreliosis (LB), Bb-specific lymphocytic responses were tested in patients with CS. For this purpose, peripheral blood mononuclear cells from CS patients and, as controls, from patients with various manifestations of LB, and from healthy volunteers without any evidence of Bb infection, were exposed to Bb organisms for 5 days and then assayed for DNA synthesis. Stimulation indices (SI) > 10 were scored positive. By performing lymphocyte proliferation tests we found: (i) that not only patients with various manifestations of LB but also a considerable percentage of seropositive (five of 13 = 38%) and seronegative (six of 26 = 23%) CS patients exhibit an elevated Bb-induced lymphocyte proliferation; (ii) that the magnitude of the cellular response seen in CS patients is comparable to that encountered in patients with established Bb manifestations; and (iii) that, within a given patient, antibiotic therapy can result in a significant reduction of this response. These results support a causative role of Bb in at least some CS patients. Bb-induced lymphocyte responses were also seen in both seropositive and seronegative erythema chronicum migrans patients. These findings show that the pattern of Bb-specific immune responses is more complex than previously thought, and underscore the importance of lymphocyte function assays in evaluating the diagnosis of potential Bb infection in seronegative patients.
PMID: 8746343 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Posts: 983 | From The sky | Registered: Feb 2005
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I also have developed thicker skin, which no one has called scleroderma yet, but a doctor did remark on my skin. Am reading a book on hypothyroidism and thick skin can be one of the symptoms. So, maybe the effect that lyme has on the thyroid is behind the skin symptoms.
Posts: 8430 | From Not available | Registered: Oct 2000
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Honored Contributor (25K+ posts)
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I had a speckled ANA 20 years ago 1:100, I think. No doctor has though much about it but the doctor at that time thought it was lupus (lyme later become very clear).
I wondered what "speckled" meant and just went searching. It would be interesting to see even more closely, what is inside of these cells to make the "speckled" - very curious. Looks like some of the Bb photos but the magnification could be better.
Anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) PATTERNS
photos of Homogeneous ANA, Speckled ANA, and Nucleolar ANA:
i ahd my blood rechecked a couple of weeks ago and it still says i have scleroderma but i have no physical signs of it. I am waiting to finish my lyme treatment and then i am going to get checked again.
Posts: 72 | From Southeastern PA | Registered: Aug 2008
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