Vaccines & Leukoencephalopathy

See: Drugs and leukoencephalopathy

leukoencephalopathy---any of a group of diseases that affect the white matter of the brain, occurring especially in infants and children. leukoencephalitis----an inflammation of the cerebral white matter.
leukodystrophy----a group of diseases of the central nervous system, characterized by lesions of the white matter of the brain, especially the cerebrum; a congenital defect in the building up and maintenance of myelin.

Toro G, et al. Neuroparalytic accidents of antirabies vaccination with suckling mouse brain vaccine. Clinical and pathologic study of 21 cases. Arch Neurol. 1977 Nov;34(11):694-700. PMID: 911231; UI: 78019328.[See Related Articles]
Twenty-one cases of neuroparalytic accidents of rabies vaccination (with suckling mouse brain vaccine), 11 of them fatal, were observed, occurring predominantly in men; the mean age of the patients was 29 years. On the average, 13 doses of the vaccine were used. Only three patients received less than seven doses. The mean latent period was 14 days (range, 4 to 24 days). In 16 patients (76%), a Guillain-Barre syndrome occurred that was moderate in three, severe in seven, and fatal in six. Pathologically, this was shown to be a typical polyradiculoneuritis. Five patients had fatal involvement of the central nervous system. Three had an acute disseminated perivenous leukoencephalopathy, with concurrent rabies encephalitis in one case. One patient had a perivenous myeloradiculopathy and one a chronic encephalomyelopathy of six years' duration with demyelinating plaques in the periventricular white matter, cerebellum, and spinal cord. Since the reduction of postexposure rabies vaccination to seven doses, no new cases have been observed in Colombia.

Konstantinou D, Paschalis C, Maraziotis T, Dimopoulos P, Bassaris H, Skoutelis A.Two episodes of leukoencephalitis associated with recombinant hepatitis B vaccination in a single patient.Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Nov 15;33(10):1772-3.PMID: 11595974 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Cases of central nervous system demyelination have been reported after recombinant hepatitis B vaccination, but no causal link has been clearly demonstrated. We present the first case report involving the occurrence of 2 episodes of leukoencephalitis in a previously healthy patient after vaccination and rechallenge with hepatitis B vaccine.