What is Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (Wegener’s)? How is it Related to Vaccines?
Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA), formerly known as Wegener’s Granulomatosis, is a rare but serious disease that causes inflammation of blood vessels. It sometimes even leads to organ failure if it goes untreated.
GPA most commonly affects the blood vessels inside your kidneys, ears, nose, sinuses, throat, and lungs. If you develop this disease, your blood vessels in these areas become inflamed, constricted, and covered in tissue masses called granulomas. This restricts the ability to carry blood, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and even death.
GPA is classified under a group of diseases called “vasculitis,” which cause swelling in the blood vessels. Studies show that patients develop certain types of vasculitis, including GPA, after getting vaccines.
The influenza (flu) vaccine is most commonly linked to granulomatosis with polyangiitis. Research shows that patients can develop granulomatosis with polyangiitis one to four weeks after getting the flu vaccine.
Patients who developed granulomatosis with polyangiitis after receiving a vaccine may be eligible for compensation from the federal government. Our lawyers will take your case at no cost to you.
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How do Vaccines Cause Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis?
One possibility is that vaccine ingredients called “adjuvants,” which are used to prolong your body’s self-defense response after getting a vaccine, actually overstimulate your immune system. Unintentionally, these may cause your body’s immune system to act as if you were actually being infected instead of just getting a harmless vaccine. This could then lead to the inflamed blood vessels seen in GPA (Duggal et al).
Another potential cause is that the brief inflammation caused by a vaccine triggers an exaggerated immune response and cause GPA symptoms (Duggal et al).
Which Vaccines Are Linked to Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis?
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS, is a database that tracks reactions to vaccination. On the right, a list shows the more common vaccines associated with GPA.
- Hepatitis B (Hep B)
- Influenza Vaccine
- Pneumococcal Vaccine
- Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine (TDaP)
The Flu Vaccine and Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis
The flu vaccine is linked to onset of granulomatosis with polyangiitis in various scientific reports. Most patients develop Granulomatosis somewhere between one and four weeks after receiving the vaccination.
Studies linking granulomatosis to the flu vaccine are described below:
- A study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology described a case where a patient had “an exacerbation of Wegener’s granulomatosis shortly after influenza vaccination,” or flu vaccine (Birck et al). The authors of the study concluded that “it seems possible that in rare cases vaccination might induce vasculitic disease” such as granulomatosis (Brick et al).
- Another article, published in the American Journal of Nephrology, also concluded that “the influenza vaccine may be a triggering factor for vasculitis” (Duggal et al). The study describes 6 cases where patients developed granulomatosis after getting the flu vaccine. The patients’ kidneys, lungs, brains, and sinuses were affected by the disease. Four of the patients were able to successfully treat their condition; one patient sustained severe kidney failure; and two patients passed away as a result of granulomatosis (Duggal et al).
- The same study also found that the flu vaccine may cause granulomatosis relapses in patients who previously experienced the disease. In fact, two of the six granulomatosis cases involved patients who previously cured their granulomatosis, but experienced a relapse after receiving the influenza vaccine (Duggal et al).
- Another study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information describes the case of a 67-year old man who experienced severe GPA (including kidney failure) two weeks after receiving an influenza vaccine. The authors concluded that the “influenza vaccination triggered a systemic immune response” and “in general, seasonal influenza vaccinations are considered to be safe, however, clinicians should be aware” of this rare side-effect (Eindhoven et al).
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What are the Symptoms of GPA?
The symptoms of granulomatosis with polyangiitis vary depending on the severity of the case and which organs have been affected.
Although GPA can technically affect any part of the body, the most commonly affected areas are the upper respiratory system (which includes the trachea, sinuses, ears, and nose), the lungs, and the kidneys.
If you have experienced any of the following symptoms and have recently received a vaccine (especially a flu vaccine), you may be eligible to receive compensation from the Federal Vaccine Court and should contact lawyers with experience in vaccine injury cases.
How is GPA From Vaccines Treated?
Normally, corticosteroids are prescribed to reduce inflammation as well as medication to suppress the immune system. The most common treatments for GPA include methotrexate, prednisone, cyclophosphamide, and/or Bactrim.
In some cases, blood transfusions are required. Some of these treatments may have serious side effects that should be considered. Consulting with a physician as early as possible is key to a good prognosis.
Am I Eligible for the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?
If you came down with granulomatosis with polyangiitis after getting a vaccine, you may be eligible to receive money from the government through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP).
The attorneys at Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. can review your medical records at no cost to determine if we can represent you in the NVICP program.
There are never any legal costs for a vaccine injury client represented by Maglio, Christopher and Toale, P.A. When your case is over, our law firm gets legal fees and costs paid directly by the Vaccine Court. This payment is separate from any money you are awarded by the Federal Vaccine Court. So you never have to share ANY portion of your money with our law firm.
Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. won over $300 million dollars for vaccine injured clients in the last three years alone.
If you want more information, fill out the online vaccine form below or call our offices toll free at (888) 952-5242 for a free case evaluation.