ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

Unilateral Axillary Lymphadenopathy after the Inactivated SARS-COV-2 (CoronaVac) Vaccine: Ultrasonographic Imaging
Eda Elverici1, Arzu Özsoy1, Bige Sayın1, Muhammet Batuhan Gökhan1, Erdem Özkan2
1Clinic of Radiology, University of Health Sciences Turkey Ankara City Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
2Clinic of Radiology, Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital, Health Application and Research Center, Ankara, Turkey
DOI : 10.4274/balkanmedj.galenos.2022.2022-4-107
Pages : 28-33


Background: Currently, unilateral clinical and subclinical axillary adenopathy cases associated with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are increasingly reported. However, only one study on axillary adenopathy due to the CoronaVac vaccine is published.
Aims: To present the incidence, severity, and ultrasonographic findings of axillary adenopathy that developed in healthcare professionals in Turkey after they were vaccinated with CoronaVac against coronavirus disease-19.
Study Design: A prospective study.
Methods: In Turkey, the first dose of the CoronaVac vaccine for coronavirus disease-19 was administered to healthcare professionals on January 14, 2021, and the second dose on February 11, 2021. This study covered the period from January 21, 2021 (1 week after the first dose), and April 15, 2021 (9 weeks after the second dose). Individuals who had a history of COVID-19 more than 3 weeks after vaccine doses, systemic disease, and diagnosis and treatment history of breast cancer were excluded. The axillary lymph nodes of the vaccinated and contralateral arms were evaluated in 101 volunteer healthcare professionals using axillary ultrasonography.
Results: A significant difference was found in the cortical thicknesses of the lymph nodes between the vaccinated and contralateral axilla after both the first (*p < 0.01) and second (*p < 0.01) doses. Accordingly, the rates of subclinical lymphatic hyperplasia on the vaccinated side were 25.7% (n = 26/101) after the first and 31.1% (n = 28/90) after the second dose. Lymph nodes with pathological appearance based on a reduced echogenic hilum with marked cortical thickening were found only in 2.2%. Among the 39 cases in which antibodies (immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M) were measured, the antibody level was classified as <10 and ≥10. No statistically significant difference was found in the cortical thickness of the axillary lymph nodes between patients with high antibody levels (≥10) and those with low antibody levels (<10) (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: In this study, clinical signs of axillary lymph node hyperplasia were not detected after vaccination with CoronaVac. Mild and diffuse thickening of the CoronaVac vaccine-induced lymph nodes was more common than pathological and palpable lymph nodes.

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