ANCA-associated vasculitis following influenza vaccination: causal association or mere coincidence?

J Clin Rheumatol. 2009 Sep;15(6):289-91. doi: 10.1097/RHU.0b013e3181b55fe4.


Whether autoimmune or rheumatic disease may be precipitated after vaccination is controversially discussed among experts. Here we describe 4 cases of new onset or relapsing antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies associated vasculitis occurring in timely association with influenza vaccination. In the literature different subtypes of vasculitis have been repeatedly reported after influenza vaccination. Several trials in patients with preexisting auto-immune disease failed to indicate an increased risk for disease recurrence after influenza vaccination but these investigations might be underpowered to detect this very rare but relevant side effect. Although our report does not prove a causal association between vaccination and vasculitis, it seems possible that in rare cases vaccination might induce vasculitic disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis / diagnosis*
  • Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis / drug therapy
  • Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis / etiology*
  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic / blood
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Influenza Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycophenolic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Mycophenolic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Mycophenolic Acid