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Hum Vaccin Immunother 2014 Feb;10(2):301-5

Motor palsies of cranial nerves (excluding VII) after vaccination: Reports to the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

Woo EJ, Winiecki SK, Ou AC


We reviewed cranial nerve palsies, other than VII, that have been reported to the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). We examined patterns for differences in vaccine types, seriousness, age, and clinical characteristics. We identified 68 reports of cranial nerve palsies, most commonly involving the oculomotor (III), trochlear (IV), and abducens (VI) nerves. Isolated cranial nerve palsies, as well as palsies occurring as part of a broader clinical entity, were reported. Forty reports (59%) were classified as serious, suggesting that a cranial nerve palsy may sometimes be the harbinger of a broader and more ominous clinical entity, such as a stroke or encephalomyelitis. There was no conspicuous clustering of live vs. inactivated vaccines. The patient age range spanned the spectrum from infants to the elderly. Independent data may help to clarify whether, when, and to what extent the rates of cranial nerve palsies following particular vaccines may exceed background levels.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #24231288 DOI: 10.4161/hv.27032
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2013-11-16 Entry Last Modified: 2014-07-08