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Rheumatology (Oxford). 1999 Oct;38(10):978-83.

Rheumatic disorders developed after hepatitis B vaccination.

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Department of Rheumatology, Dijon University Hospital, France.



To obtain an overview of rheumatic disorders occurring after hepatitis B vaccination.


A questionnaire was sent to rheumatology departments in nine French hospitals. Criteria for entry were rheumatic complaints of 1 week's duration or more, occurrence during the 2 months following hepatitis B vaccination, no previously diagnosed rheumatic disease and no other explanation for the complaints.


Twenty-two patients were included. The observed disorders were as follows: rheumatoid arthritis for six patients; exacerbation of a previously non-diagnosed systemic lupus erythematosus for two; post-vaccinal arthritis for five; polyarthralgia-myalgia for four; suspected or biopsy-proved vasculitis for three; miscellaneous for two.


Hepatitis B vaccine might be followed by various rheumatic conditions and might trigger the onset of underlying inflammatory or autoimmune rheumatic diseases. However, a causal relationship between hepatitis B vaccination and the observed rheumatic manifestations cannot be easily established. Further epidemiological studies are needed to establish whether hepatitis B vaccination is associated or not with an incidence of rheumatic disorders higher than normal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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