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Vaccine. 2011 Nov 3;29(47):8754-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.07.122. Epub 2011 Aug 18.

Neuropathology of vaccination in infants and children.

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The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Department of Pathology Main Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



Documentation of clinical-pathological features of 37 infants/children whose parents alleged a relationship between vaccination and death or permanent central nervous system (CNS) damage, and sought compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.


Of the 5545 claims filed during the 10-year period (1990-1999), CNS tissue was available for evaluation by a pediatric neuropathologist in 37; 33 died and 4 had a biopsy or lobectomy. Most commonly implicated vaccines were DTP/DTaP, followed by MMR and IPV/OPV, but almost all of the vaccines currently given to infants/children were alleged to be responsible for the illness/death. No lesions were found in 5 of 37 (13.5%). The most frequent abnormality consisted of acute anoxic encephalopathy (14 of 37 - 37.8%), consequent to several different causes, such as positional asphyxia, cardio-respiratory arrest during status epilepticus, etc. The remaining children manifested other lesions, including inflammation (5 of 37 - 13.5%), vascular and developmental anomalies (4 each of 37 or 10.6%), cerebral edema and system degeneration (2 each of 37 or 5.4%), and one case of heavy metal exposure in a child living near an abandoned mine (2.2%).


There was no obvious relationship between type of vaccine (or vaccines simultaneously administered) to time of onset of symptoms, nature of symptoms or the lesions found.

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