Most pediatricians receive in the mail Pediatrician News. The most recent issue contained an interesting case report discussed in “Pearce-ings” by columnist Francine Pearce, M.D. It discusses a teenage girl who presented to an orthopedist with back pain of unknown etiology, who then had a seizure of unknown origin, according to the neurologist. The patient had more seizures and developed tics. She was hospitalized. A spinal tap and MRI confirmed ADEM (acute disseminated enchaphalomyelitis).
She had been healthy and athletic, and her medical history was unremarkable except that two weeks before the onset of the symptoms, she had the HPV vaccine.
Dr. Pearce noted the reported negative association between the HPV vaccine and ADEM, but did say that the evidence on the association between ADEM and other vaccines is “varied” and that ADEM following vaccination “was infrequent but not rare.”
She hypothesized about a possible mechanism of action, and noted that the aluminum in the Gardasil vaccine was associated in changes in behavior in a mouse study, which offered further support that vaccines might be associated with ADEM.
Her recommendation was that clinicians consider ADEM as a differential diagnosis with new onset seizures, especially if there was a recent vaccination event.
She concluded with her opinion that although vaccines are considered safe, AE’s do occur, and that discussing this and other possible adverse events with patients will “build trust and confidence with your patients.”
Not really all that controversial to openminded practitioners.
Here is a image of the case report.
The reason I need to give you an image rather than a URL link is because the case report has already been pulled by the journal from its online edition, due to intense negative feedback. Big surprise? Not really, but what is surprising is how fast it happened, it was just a matter of a few days.
Would it shock anyone if this was Dr. Pearce’s last column?
Wouldn’t hurt if some folks wrote the editor of Pediatric News and expressed support for the doctor and the valuable information she provided to clinicians.
The journal is published by Frontline Medical Communications Inc. and headquartered at 7 Century Drive, Suite 302, Parsippany, NJ 07054-4609. Telephone: (973) 206-3434. For information: www.frontlinemedcom.com.
Rick Jaffe, Esq.