Since a successful smallpox vaccination is in a sense an iatrogenic disease, it is particularly unfortunate that patients with chronic lymphatic leukemia may develop a progressive necrotizing vaccinial infection (vaccinia gangrenosa) following this procedure. In the past, this complication has invariably been fatal.3 This is the report of an adult with chronic lymphatic leukemia who recovered from vaccinia gangrenosa with the aid of vaccinia immune globulin.
Report of Case
A 66 year old white retired postal worker was admitted to the hospital on June 22, 1959, because of weakness of 3 days' duration. He had been found to have chronic lymphatic leukemia in 1956 and had been treated with radiation and chlorambucil. One month before admission his hematocrit was 37%. He felt well until a few days before admission, taking chlorambucil, 2 mg/day. In preparation for a trip abroad, he was vaccinated by his private physician on June 17.
FEKETY FR, MALAWISTA SE, YOUNG DL. Vaccinia Gangrenosa in Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia: Report of a Case with Recovery Following the Use of Vaccinia Immune Globulin. Arch Intern Med. 1962;109(2):205–208. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620140077012
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