Eosinophilic-lymphocytic myocarditis after smallpox vaccination

Joseph G. Murphy, R. Scott Wright, G. Keith Bruce, Larry M. Baddour, Michael A. Farrell, William D. Edwards, Hirohito Kita, Leslie T. Cooper

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47 Scopus citations


Smallpox is an eradicated viral disease that has re-emerged as a potential bioterrorism threat. Smallpox vaccination was historically the most effective defence measure against wild smallpox virus. The risk of myopericarditis after vaccination might limit this option. We report a case of biopsy-proven eosinophilic-lymphocytic myocarditis diagnosed in vivo with histological evidence for eosinophil-mediated cardiac myocyte necrosis shortly after smallpox vaccination. Furthermore, we report a beneficial haemodynamic response to high-dose corticosteroids. A better understanding of the aberrant immune mechanism of myocyte injury after smallpox vaccination might improve the risk/benefit assessment for people considering smallpox vaccination and better smallpox vaccines in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1378-1380
Number of pages3
Issue number9393
StatePublished - Oct 25 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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    Murphy, J. G., Wright, R. S., Bruce, G. K., Baddour, L. M., Farrell, M. A., Edwards, W. D., Kita, H., & Cooper, L. T. (2003). Eosinophilic-lymphocytic myocarditis after smallpox vaccination. Lancet, 362(9393), 1378-1380. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(03)14635-1