A severe illness developed gradually in a healthy boy following administration of live measles vaccine at age 14 years. Killed measles vaccine had been given at age 2. Panniculitis began near the site of live vaccine injection, extended contiguously to involve the entire upper arm, and then began to appear in distant subcutaneous sites. He was febrile, leukopenic, anemic, and lost weight rapidly. Evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship between the lesions and the measles vaccine included biopsy findings of particles closely resembling measles nucleocapsids and complete virions by electron microscopy, positive fluorescence after staining with two anti-measles nucleocapsid sera, and immunologic aberrations. The lesions regressed after various treatments and completely remitted on two occasions, but recurred. He became severely malnourished and finally died 29 months after the measles vaccination. At autopsy, pannicultitis was found in the subcutis and mesentery, without evidence of involvement of the brain or other vital organs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health