Sudden Infant Death Following Hexavalent Vaccination: A Neuropathologic Study
L. Matturri, G. Del Corno and A.M. Lavezzi
Affiliation: “Lino Rossi” Research Center, Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, University of Milan, Italy, Via della Commenda, 19 - 20122 Milan, Italy.
Keywords: Autonomic nervous system, brainstem, hexavalent vaccine, neuropathology, risk factors, SIDS.
We examined a large number of sudden infant death syndrome victims in order to point out a possible causal
relationship between a previous hexavalent vaccination and the sudden infant death. We selected 110 cases submitted to
in-depth histological examination of the autonomic nervous system and provided with detailed clinical and environmental
information. In 13 cases (11.8%) the death occurred in temporal association with administration of the hexavalent vaccine
(from 1 to 7 days). In none of these victims congenital developmental alterations of the main nervous structures regulating
the vital functions were observed. Only the hypoplasia of the arcuate nucleus was present in 5 cases. In one case in particular
an acquired hyperacute encephalitis of the tractus solitarii nucleus was diagnosed in the brainstem. This study does
not prove a causal relationship between the hexavalent vaccination and SIDS. However, we hypothesize that vaccine
components could have a direct role in sparking off a lethal outcome in vulnerable babies. In conclusion, we sustain the
need that deaths occurring in a short space of time after hexavalent vaccination are appropriately investigated and submitted
to a post-mortem examination particularly of the autonomic nervous system by an expert pathologist to objectively
evaluate the possible causative role of the vaccine in SIDS.
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