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Transient Arthritis After Rubella Vaccination

Louis Z. Cooper, MD; Philip R. Ziring, MD; Helene J. Weiss, BS; Barbara A. Matters, BA; Saul Krugman, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1969;118(2):218-225. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1969.02100040220011.
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TRANSIENT joint manifestations, ranging from mild arthralgia to severe extensive polyarthritis are a troublesome feature of rubella. These complaints, described as early as 1906 in Osler's textbook,1 have been a source of considerable concern in the past, since they may simulate the picture of acute rheumatoid polyarthritis. Numerous reports have defined the epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of rubella arthritis, and a rather characteristic pattern now is well recognized.2

Polyarthralgia and polyarthritis are so common among women with rubella as to be considered typical manifestations of the disease. Joint involvement is less common in men and is uncommon in children. Symptoms most typically appear with the rash or within several days after its onset, but rarely may precede the onset of rash by several days. Involvement which is frequently symmetrical may range from subjective "morning stiffness" to full-blown arthritis characterized by swelling, redness, tenderness, and effusion. Objective signs and


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