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This is VAERS ID 466962

Case Details

VAERS ID: 466962 (history)  
Form: Version 1.0  
Age: 4.0  
Sex: Female  
Location: Unknown  
Submitted: 2012-09-29
Entered: 2012-09-29
Vaccin­ation / Manu­facturer Lot / Dose Site / Route

Administered by: Other       Purchased by: Other
Symptoms: Autopsy, Biopsy brain abnormal, Blood calcium decreased, Blood culture negative, Blood electrolytes normal, Blood glucose normal, Blood pressure increased, Brain death, Brain neoplasm, Brain oedema, CSF pressure increased, Calcium ionised decreased, Central nervous system lesion, Central nervous system neoplasm, Cerebral haemorrhage, Cerebral hypoperfusion, Chromosome analysis normal, Computerised tomogram head abnormal, Convulsion, Decreased appetite, Drooling, Electroencephalogram abnormal, Encephalitis viral, Epilepsy, Eye pain, Fundoscopy normal, Glioma, Headache, Hemianopia, Hepatic enzyme, Hypocalcaemic seizure, Hyporesponsive to stimuli, Infection, Inflammation, Intracranial pressure increased, Laboratory test abnormal, Left ventricular end-diastolic pressure increased, Lethargy, Lymphocyte percentage decreased, Mass, Mental status changes, Monocyte percentage, Nasal mucosal disorder, Necrosis, Neurological examination normal, Neutrophil percentage increased, Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging abnormal, Oedema, Paranasal sinus discomfort, Platelet count normal, Polymerase chain reaction, Pupillary reflex impaired, Pyrexia, Renal function test normal, Somnolence, Tremor, Unresponsive to stimuli, Varicella post vaccine, Varicella virus test positive, Vomiting, White blood cell count normal
SMQs:, Rhabdomyolysis/myopathy (broad), Cardiac failure (broad), Anaphylactic reaction (broad), Acute pancreatitis (broad), Angioedema (broad), Haematopoietic leukopenia (broad), Haemorrhage terms (excl laboratory terms) (narrow), Hyperglycaemia/new onset diabetes mellitus (broad), Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (broad), Systemic lupus erythematosus (broad), Anticholinergic syndrome (broad), Haemorrhagic central nervous system vascular conditions (narrow), Shock-associated circulatory or cardiac conditions (excl torsade de pointes) (broad), Torsade de pointes, shock-associated conditions (broad), Hypovolaemic shock conditions (broad), Toxic-septic shock conditions (broad), Anaphylactic/anaphylactoid shock conditions (broad), Hypoglycaemic and neurogenic shock conditions (broad), Dementia (broad), Convulsions (narrow), Embolic and thrombotic events, arterial (narrow), Malignancy related therapeutic and diagnostic procedures (narrow), Dyskinesia (broad), Dystonia (broad), Parkinson-like events (broad), Guillain-Barre syndrome (broad), Noninfectious encephalitis (broad), Noninfectious encephalopathy/delirium (broad), Noninfectious meningitis (broad), Gastrointestinal nonspecific symptoms and therapeutic procedures (narrow), Hyponatraemia/SIADH (broad), Haemodynamic oedema, effusions and fluid overload (narrow), Glaucoma (broad), Hypertension (narrow), Optic nerve disorders (broad), Cardiomyopathy (broad), Central nervous system vascular disorders, not specified as haemorrhagic or ischaemic (narrow), Hypotonic-hyporesponsive episode (broad), Generalised convulsive seizures following immunisation (narrow), Chronic kidney disease (broad), Tumour lysis syndrome (broad), Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms syndrome (broad), Hypoglycaemia (broad), Non-haematological malignant tumours (narrow), Non-haematological tumours of unspecified malignancy (narrow), Opportunistic infections (broad)

Life Threatening? No
Birth Defect? No
Died? Yes
   Date died: 0000-00-00
Permanent Disability? No
Recovered? No
Office Visit? No
ER Visit? Yes
ER or Doctor Visit? No
Hospitalized? Yes, ? days
   Extended hospital stay? No
Previous Vaccinations:
Other Medications: No other medications
Current Illness: Unknown
Preexisting Conditions: Hypoparathyroidism; --/--/2008, Convulsion, at age of 1 year; --/--/2008, Hypocalcaemia, at age of 1 year; Sinusitis; Nasal septum perforation; calcium, Convulsion
Diagnostic Lab Data: Cerebral perfusion study: No intracerebral blood flow, consistent with brain death; Intraventricular pressure: (FEB-2011): Extremely elevated pressure; Postmortem examination: The brain appeared swollen with tissue softening and hemorrhages. No discrete brain lesions was grossly visible. Hematoxylin-eosin stain: Multifocal encephalitis with viral-like inclusions; Fluorescence in situ hybridization test for 22q11 chromosomal deletion: Negative; 02/--/2011, Biopsy brain, Microscopic examination revealed necrosis with inflammation including cluster of microglia consistent with encephalitis. No evidence of tumor was observed; 02/--/2011, Blood calcium, Normal, 8.6 mg/dL; 02/--/2011, Blood culture, Negative; 02/--/2011, Blood glucose, Normal, Within normal limits; 02/--/2011, CSF pressure, Increased; 02/--/2011, Calcium ionised, Normal 1.07 mmol/L; 02/--/2011, Computerised tomogram, Approximately 2 weeks before her hospital admission: demonstrated a perforated nasal septum, paranasal sinus opacification, and an enhancing mass suggestive of redundant nasal mucosa, enlarged vomeronasal organ, or nasal glioma; --/--/2008, Computerised tomogram head, Normal, After her hypocalcemic seizure: indicated no brain abnormalities.; 02/--/2011, Computerised tomogram head, Discrete enhancing lesion measuring 3x3 cm without ring enhancement in the right posterior parietal lobe with surrounding vasogenic edema indicating an infectious or inflammatory process. A well defined abscess was not clearly identified and an underlying mass lesion could not be excluded.; 02/--/2011, Computerised tomogram head, No changes; 02/--/2011, Computerised tomogram head, Obstruction of the fourth ventricle and evidence of herniation.; 02/--/2011, Electrolyte panel, Normal, Within Normal limits; 02/--/2011, Electroencephalogram, Strong epileptiform activity in the area of the suspected tumor and subclinical seizures on video EEG monitoring; 02/--/2011, Fundoscopy, Normal; 02/--/2011, Hepatic enzyme, Normal, Within normal limits; 02/--/2011, Lymphocyte count, 7%; 02/--/2011, Monocyte count, 8%; 02/--/2011, Neurological examination, Otherwise unremarkable; 02/--/2011, Neutrophil count, 85%; 02/--/2011, Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, Consistent with a primary glial neoplasm with local mass effect; 02/--/2011, Physical examination, Drowsy, drooling, lethargic, and increasingly unresponsive to verbal stimuli; 02/--/2011, Platelet count, 287x1E09 platelets/L; 02/--/2011, Polymerase chain reaction, Positive, Positive for wild-type VZV; 02/--/2011, Pupillary light reflex tests, Negative, No pupillary reflexes, during hospital day 5; 02/--/2011, Pupillary light reflex tests, Normal; 02/--/2011, Renal function test, Normal, Within normal limits; 02/--/2011, White blood cell count, 10x10E9 cells/L
CDC Split Type: WAES1209USA010266

Write-up: Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes varicella as primary infection; virus remains latent and can reactivate to cause herpes zoster. Neurologic complications associated with both illnesses, albeit rare, have been reported among both healthy and immunocompromised patients. The patient was admitted to the hospital in February 2011, after complaining of sudden severe headache and right eye pain. During the 10 days before admission, she had experienced frequent and intermittent episodes of vomiting, headaches, seizures, lethargy, low-grade fever, mental status changes, poor interaction, and poor appetite. She did not have cough, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or rash. No history of recent travel, or known sick contacts at home or the child care center she attended were noted. She had received 1 dose of varicella vaccine at age 13 months and had no history of varicella disease. Her medical history was remarkable for nasal septum perforation with subsequent recurrent sinusitis requiring prolonged courses of antibiotic therapy. Additionally, she had hypocalcemia-related seizures at age 1 year secondary to partial hypoparathyroidism; a DiGeorge syndrome workup including a fluorescence in situ hybridization test for 22q11 chromosomal deletion was negative. No documentation of T & B cell subsets being performed was found. She received calcium supplements and had no more seizures. The patient had no history of chronic medical conditions or immunosuppressive medications, was born full-term without reported complications, had reached appropriate developmental milestones, and had performed adequately at preschool. On physical examination, the patient was drowsy, drooling, lethargic, and increasingly unresponsive to verbal stimuli. Her vital signs were normal. Neck was supple. Pupillary reflexes and fundoscopy were normal. She had a right gaze preference and probable left hemianopia with some tremors in her extremities. No rash or dysmorphic features were noted. Her general and neurologic examinations were otherwise unremarkable. Laboratory data revealed a white blood cell count of 10x109/L (neutrophils 85%, lymphocytes 7%, monocytes 8%); platelet count was 287x109/L. Total calcium was 8.6 mg/dL and ionized calcium was 1.07mmol/L. The patient''s electrolyte panel, glucose, liver enzymes, and renal function tests were within normal limits. Blood cultures were negative. Lumbar puncture and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tests were not performed. No extensive laboratory evaluation of immunocompetence was performed. A computed tomography (CT) brain scan showed a discrete enhancing lesion measuring 3x3 cm without ring enhancement in the right posterior parietal lobe with surrounding vasogenic edema, indicating an infectious or inflammatory process. A well-defined abscess was not clearly identified and an underlying mass lesion could not be excluded. Follow-up magnetic resonance imaging was consistent with a primary glial neoplasm with local mass effect. A head CT scan in 2008 after her hypocalcemic seizure indicated no brain abnormalities. A facial computed tomography (CT) scan in February 2011, approximately 2 weeks before her hospital admission, demonstrated a perforated nasal septum, paranasal sinus opacification, and an enhancing mass suggestive of redundant nasal mucosa, enlarged vomeronasal organ, or nasal glioma. Recommended nasal endoscopy and biopsy were not performed. The patient was given a preliminary diagnosis of primary brain tumor, with mild local mass effect, and treated with supportive measures. No antibiotics or antivirals were administered. The patient''s condition worsened, and during hospital day 4 she developed symptoms of increased intracranial pressure. An electroencephalogram (EEG) revealed strong epileptiform activity in the area of the suspected tumor and subclinical seizures on video electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring. A head computed tomography (CT) scan indicated no changes. During hospital day 5, the patient''s symptoms worsened, and she had no pupillary light reflex. An emergent head CT scan indicated an obstruction of the fourth ventricle and evidence of herniation. She underwent emergent external ventricular device placement. Intraventricular pressure monitoring beginning at that time revealed extremely elevated pressures. On hospital day 6, the day the patient died, a cerebral perfusion study indicated no intracerebral blood flow, consistent with brain death. A postmortem examination was performed. The brain appeared swollen with tissue softening and hemorrhages. No discrete brain lesion was grossly visible. A biopsy of the right side of the brain was performed. Microscopic examination revealed necrosis with inflammation, including clusters of microglia, consistent with encephalitis. No evidence of a tumor was observed. Brain specimens were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional testing. Multifocal encephalitis with viral-like inclusions were seen by hematoxylin-eosin stain. Extensive multifocal immunohistochemical staining of varicella zoster virus (VZV) antigens was seen in association with tissue damage; no evidence of herpes simplex virus or bacterial infection was observed. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of DNA extracted from specimens was positive for wild-type varicella zoster virus (VZV). VZV encephalitis was determined to be the cause of death. In June 2011, a pediatrician notified the local Department of Health that a four year-old female patient died of varicella zoster virus (VZV) encephalitis. To the reporters knowledge, this is the first reported fatal case of VZV encephalitis in a child who had received 1 dose of varicella vaccine. Additionally, the child did not have rash. Two major pathologic mechanisms have been proposed as contributing to the development of VZV encephalitis: direct viral invasion of the brain and an autoimmune process. The findings in this case, including acute presentation, localization of viral antigens in encephalitic lesions, and detection of VZV DNA from brain tissue, suggest direct viral invasion. Among children who have received varicella vaccine, nonfatal neurologic complications have been reported rarely following varicella or herpes zoster; a few of these were confirmed to be a result of vaccine-strain VZV. Among unvaccinated persons, wild-type VZV is known to cause fatal neurologic complications. Because the patient described in this report had received 1 dose of varicella vaccine and had no recognized evidence of an immunocompromising condition, her clinical presentation raises questions about why the illness was fatal, and we found no conclusive answers. Although, VZV-associated illness generally manifests with rash, encephalitis related to primary VZV infection without a rash in an unvaccinated immunocompetent child was described in one report. Cases of neurologic complications associated with reactivated VZV but without rash (zoster sine herpete) in unvaccinated immunocompetent children have also been reported. Detection of wild-type VZV, and the absence of varicella rash history, indicate this patient had unrecognized varicella, either previously or at the time of this fatal illness. We were unable to determine whether the patient''s encephalitis was because of breakthrough infection or herpes zoster. In healthy vaccinees, breakthrough varicella is usually mild. However, in this patient, we cannot exclude the possibility of an underlying immunocompromising condition, given some features in her medical history that could have led to severe breakthrough. If the patient''s illness was breakthrough, its severity might also be attributable to lack of response to vaccination. Serologic studies have reported that 15%-24% of healthy children lack adequate antibody response after 1 dose of varicella vaccine, and clinical studies have revealed that approximately one-quarter of breakthrough cases have clinical characteristics similar to varicella among unvaccinated persons. Waning of vaccine-induced immunity was suggested by one study but not confirmed by others. In this patient, the reporter also could not exclude the possibility of herpes zoster. Past breakthrough disease, although not reported, could have been missed considering that the presentation is usually mild or atypical. The differential diagnosis between varicella and herpes zoster could be made clinically in most situations by assessing rash, but this patient did not have rash at presentation. No laboratory tests exist to differentiate between the 2 illnesses. Children with acute otherwise unexplained neurologic symptoms may warrant an investigation for encephalitis, and that VZV should be considered as a possible cause of encephalitis, even if rash is not present and varicella vaccine has been received. Available tests include PCR to detect the viral genome in CSF and assays to detect intrathecal immunoglobulin G. Biopsy can also be considered in individual cases and may aid with diagnosis. Early diagnosis improves the chance of successful treatment. For this patient, past varicella vaccination, absence of rash, and atypical neuroimaging did not raise suspicion of VZV encephalitis. To provide protection among children who do not respond adequately to the first dose of varicella vaccine and to further reduce the disease burden of varicella, a second dose of varicella vaccine is recommended for children aged 4-6 years. The fact that this child was appropriately vaccinated for age may prompt consideration of earlier administration of the second dose. A copy of the published article will be provided as further documentation of the patient''s experience. Additional information has been requested.

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