Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis following influenza vaccination

Vaccine. 2011 Oct 26;29(46):8182-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.08.103. Epub 2011 Sep 17.


Introduction: Approximately 5% of cases of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis are preceded by vaccination within 1 month prior to symptom onset. This occurs rarely following influenza immunization.

Methods: Case presentation and literature review.

Results: A 75-year-old woman developed acute disseminated encephalomyelitis within 3 weeks of receiving the seasonal influenza vaccine. The patient subsequently passed away, despite treatment with methylprednisolone and plasma exchange therapy.

Conclusions: The literature on post-influenza vaccination encephalomyelitis is limited. The majority of published cases had favourable outcomes following treatment with intravenous methylprednisolone. Given the limited number of cases, no incidence estimates have been published.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Child, Preschool
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated / chemically induced*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated / diagnosis*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plasma Exchange
  • Prednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Vaccination / adverse effects*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Prednisolone