[Skip to Navigation]
January 1968

Thrombocytopenic Purpura Following Vaccination With Attenuated Measles Virus

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC
From the departments of medicine and hematology, Georgetown University School of Medicine (Dr. Alter), the Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Hospital (Dr. Scanlon), and Vetterans Administration Hospital (Dr. Schechter), Washington, DC. Dr. Schechter is a fellow in hematology.

Am J Dis Child. 1968;115(1):111-113. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100010113022

HEMORRHAGIC PHENOMENA constitute a rare complication of measles infection. Hudson et al1 in their review of the literature, were able to cite only 22 well-documented cases, all of which were secondary to thrombocytopenia. In 1966, Oski and Naiman2 reported the thrombocytopenic effect of live attenuated measles virus vaccine. They demonstrated a significant though generally mild depression of platelets in a large proportion of children receiving this vaccine. However, total platelet count never fell below 64,000, and in no instance were purpuric manifestations noted. We believe the patient reported herein to represent the first recognized case of thrombocytopenic purpura secondary to measles vaccination.

Report of a Case  The patient was a 14-month-old white boy at the onset of thrombocytopenic purpura. He had been delivered by cesarean section at 35 weeks of fetal life, surgery being necessitated by placenta previa. His birth weight was 2,098 gm (4 lb 10 ounces)