June 1980

A Possible Association Between Influenza Vaccination and Small-Vessel Vasculitis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine and Thorndike Laboratory (Drs Blumberg and Kantrowitz) and the Department of Surgery (Dr Bienfang), Harvard Medical School, Boston; the Rheumatology Unit, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston (Drs Blumberg and Kantrowitz); and the Department of Surgery, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston (Dr Bienfang).

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(6):847-848. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330180121037

We describe two patients who experienced small-vessel vasculitic syndromes after influenza immunization. Their illnesses were characterized by fever, arthralgias, and myalgias; uveitis and optic neuritis occurred in one patient, while the other had palpable purpura, which histologically was proved to be a cutaneous necrotizing venulitis. No viral or bacterial infection, medications, or underlying systemic rheumatic disease could be implicated. To our knowledge, small-vessel vasculitis occurring after influenza vaccination has not been previously reported.

(Arch Intern Med 140:847-848, 1980)