A patient with atrioventricular block and ventricular tachycardia: think sarcoid!

Cardiac involvement in sarcoidosis is often difficult to diagnose, and most alarmingly can lead to sudden cardiac arrest as its first manifestation. We report the case of a 45-year-old Indian woman with an implanted permanent pacemaker for atrioventricular block, who presented with haemodynamically stable ventricular tachycardia and was found to have impaired left ventricular function. Subsequent investigations established the diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis. The patient was treated with prednisolone initially at 40 mg a day for 3 months.

Lyme carditis: a reversible cause of complete atrioventricular block

A 54-year-old American woman presented with an episode of syncope. This had occurred against a background of several days of dizziness and palpitations. Her medical history included Bell’s palsy, which had been diagnosed three weeks earlier. On examination, she had a resting bradycardia of 31 beats per minute and her electrocardiogram demonstrated third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block. She was referred to cardiology for consideration of permanent pacemaker implantation. Given her facial nerve palsy and AV block, a diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis was suspected.