Spontaneous reports of vasculitis as an adverse event following immunization: A descriptive analysis across three international databases

Vaccine. 2016 Dec 12;34(51):6634-6640. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.09.027. Epub 2015 Sep 21.


Background: Vasculitides have been reported as adverse events following immunization (AEFI) following various vaccines. We describe reports of vasculitis to three international spontaneous reporting systems.

Methods: All spontaneous reports of vasculitis following immunization between January 2003 and June 2014 were retrieved from Eudravigilance (EV), the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), and VigiBase®. A Standard MedDRA Query (SMQ) for vasculitis was used and vaccine types were categorized using the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classification system. We performed a descriptive analysis by source, sex, age, country, time to onset, vaccine, and type of vasculitis.

Results: We retrieved 1797 reports of vasculitis in EV, 1171 in VAERS, and 2606 in VigiBase®. Vasculitis was predominantly reported in children aged 1-17 years, and less frequently in the elderly (>65 years). The generic term "vasculitis" was the most frequently reported AEFI in this category across the three databases (range 21.9% to 27.5% of all reported vasculitis for vaccines). For the more specific terms, Henoch-Schoenlein Purpura (HSP) was most frequently reported, (19.1% on average), followed by Kawasaki disease (KD) (16.1% on average) and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) (9.2% on average). Less frequently reported subtypes were cutaneous vasculitis (CuV), vasculitis of the central nervous system (CNS-V), and Behcet's syndrome (BS). HSP, PMR and CuV were more frequently reported with influenza vaccines: on average in 29.3% for HSP reports, 61.5% for PMR reports and in 39.2% for CuV reports. KD was reported with pneumococcal vaccines in 32.0% of KD reports and with rotavirus vaccines in more than 20% of KD reports. BS was most frequently reported after hepatitis and HPV vaccines and CNS-V after HPV vaccines.

Conclusion: Similar reporting patterns of vasculitides were observed in different databases. Implementation of standardized case definitions for specific vasculitides could improve overall data quality and comparability of reports.

Keywords: Adverse event following immunization (AEFI); Eudravigilance; Immunization; Pharmacovigilance; Spontaneous reporting; VAERS; Vaccines; Vasculitis; VigiBase(®).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Immunization / adverse effects*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Vasculitis / chemically induced*
  • Vasculitis / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult