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Guillain-Barré Syndrome after Vaccination in United States: Data From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Food and Drug Administration Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (1990-2005)

Souayah, Nizar MD*; Nasar, Abu MS; Suri, M Fareed K MD*; Qureshi, Adnan I MD*

Journal of Clinical Neuromuscular Disease: September 2009 - Volume 11 - Issue 1 - p 1-6
doi: 10.1097/CND.0b013e3181aaa968
Original Article

Background: There are isolated reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) after receiving vaccination.

Objective: To determine the rates and characteristics of GBS after administration of vaccination in United States

Methods: We used data for 1990 to 2005 from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which is a cooperative program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Results: There were 1000 cases (mean age, 47 years) of GBS reported after vaccination in the United States between 1990 and 2005. The onset of GBS was within 6 weeks in 774 cases, >6 weeks in 101, and unknown in 125. Death and disability after the event occurred in 32 (3.2%) and 167 (16.7%) subjects, respectively. The highest number (n = 632) of GBS cases was observed in subjects receiving influenza vaccine followed by hepatitis B vaccine (n = 94). Other vaccines or combinations of vaccines were associated with 274 cases of GBS. The incidence of GBS after influenza vaccination was marginally higher in subjects <65 years compared with those ≥65 years (P = 0.09); for hepatitis vaccine, the incidence was significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in the <65 group. Death was more frequent in subjects ≥65 years compared with those <65 years (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that vaccines other than influenza vaccine can be associated with GBS. Vaccination-related GBS results in death or disability in one fifth of affected individuals, which is comparable to the reported rates in the general GBS population.

From the *Epidemiological and Outcomes Research Division, Zeenat Qureshi Stroke Research Center, and the Department of Neurology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ; and †Department of Surgery, Columbia University, New York, NY.

Reprints: Nizar Souayah, MD, 90 Bergen Street, DOC 8100, Newark NJ, 07103 (e-mail: souayani@umdnj.edu).

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.