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July 1982

Optic Neuritis and Myelitis Following Rubella Vaccination

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Ophthalmology (Dr Kline) and Neurology (Drs Margulies and Oh), University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham.

Arch Neurol. 1982;39(7):443-444. doi:10.1001/archneur.1982.00510190061022

Attenuated live virus vaccination provides protection against rubella that is generally safe and effective. Infrequently, however, it is followed by neurologic complications, including paresthesia,1,2 polyneuritis,2 myeloradiculoneuritis,3 and myelitis.4-7 Kazarian and Gager8 reported a case of bilateral optic neuritis following trivalent mumps, measles, and rubella vaccination. We describe a patient in whom bilateral optic neuritis and myelitis developed after administration of monovalent rubella vaccine. To the best of our knowledge, optic neuritis has not been previously reported as a complication of this viral vaccine.

REPORT OF A CASE  A 31-year-old woman, in previously excellent health, was found to have no detectable serum rubella antibodies. On Nov 16, 1979, she received an intramuscular attenuated live rubella virus vaccination. Five days later she complained of a headache on the left side and left periorbital pain. During the next several days, she reported pain on movement of her left