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Infectious Diseases

Bornholm`s Disease

08/19/2002

Question:

Bornholm`s Disease --primarily thought to be under rib and sternum area

--how is this diagnosed (please be as specific as possible)

thanks

Answer:

Bornholm`s Disease is one of the names given to Epidemic Pleurodynia. This is an infectious disease caused by several enteroviruses mainly Cocksakie B. While the name suggests that the pleura is affected (Pleura: Membrane covering the lung and the thoracic cavity and dynia: Pain), it is actually an infection of the muscles. It has predilection for the thorax muscles but may affect the muscles of the neck, abdomen and even extremities. The disease produces epidemics every 10 to 20 years, and typically affects more than one member of the family. The initial manifestation includes high fever, occasional sore throat, diarrhea and vomiting, followed by the typical spasmodic pain in the thorax wall. Cold-like symptoms are absent. The disease runs its course over 4 to 6 days, but recurrences are frequent within 1 month of the initial attack. The diagnosis is usually made on clinical grounds: The presence of fever, the history of close contacts with similar symptoms, the time of the year (late summer), the absence of underlying lung or abdominal diseases that would explain the pain. Specific diagnosis requires either Serology, Viral Culture and or Muscle Biopsy. Given the innocuous and transitory character of the disease, and the absence of specific treatment, such procedures are not performed in regular clinical practice, only within research settings. If a person has persistent pain beyond 7 to 10 days, alternative diagnosis should be pursued. 

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Response by:

Francisco   Gomez, MD Francisco Gomez, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati