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Sudden Infant Death Following Hexavalent Vaccination: A Neuropathologic Study

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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.

Keywords: Autonomic nervous system; SIDS; brainstem; hexavalent vaccine; neuropathology; risk factors

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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