One of the other threads mentioned autopsy and dx-ing Lyme. I'm wondering if anyone has more detail about what is actually done and how much more definitive this is compared to the standard tests we do? I suspect there can't be much data on this, but can't hurt to ask.
In the event the autopsy was quite definitive for Lyme (or at least some bacterial pathogen), I would like to know that since I think it would be prudent for me to have an autopsy done for the benefit of others if I happened one day to get hit by a bus. I know this question may sound nutty, but I don't think it is. We all speculate about being infected years before we had the first symptoms and I think our spouses/lovers might appreciate knowing one way or the other.
During an autopsy tissue that could not otherwise be taken can actually be removed and looked at under a microscope. For example, the spinal cord can be dissected and looked at which could never be done on a living person so it could give much more definitive information.
I have read that autopsy has shown spirochetes in the CNS of people who were diagnosed with MS. I can't remember where I read this but if I find it I will post it.
If they find spirochetes in the CNS fluid during autopsy, do you know why a spinal tap is typically not considered helpful for dx (at least by LLMDs, IDs have opposite view point of course). I guess assumption is that the likelihood of finding spirochetes and associated cost? to do test are not worth it?
They can look at the CNS tissues not just the fluid as in a spinal tap. The bacteria hides deep in tissues. This is why it is rarely seen in the spinal fluid. The spinal fluid they take for a tap is outside the cord. The cord can't be biopsied when we are alive as we would have serious consequences like paralysis. A brain biopsy can be done on a livng person but is usually a last resort test. Hope this makes sense.
Yes, it makes sense. I was just commenting because you mentioned the location that we can get data without bad consequences (most of the time). Hopefully the tissues, like the brain or elsewhere are much more revealing than spinal tap or my eventual autopsy will be a waste!
To cindy's point, I was focussed primarily on educating my loved ones for their own benefit, but I agree that the thought of furthering science/Lyme/whatever illness I have is quite appealing.
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