Lymphadenopathy, what is this side effect of the Pfizer vaccine?

Alicia, 30, was vaccinated against the Covid July 7 at night. They put the first dose of Pfizer. I didn’t notice anything until Friday morning. I went to get a antigen test to travel and in the queue I began to feel ill. My arm hurt, I was very cold and had a bad body ”, explains this Sevillian woman living in Madrid. But it wasn’t until he got to work, around 11 a.m., that he was startled by turning his head. I made a gesture and it hurt. I touched my left clavicle, the same side where I had been vaccinated, and I touched a lump that was clearly visible. I had already inflamed my ganglia when I passed the mononucleosis and I immediately related it, otherwise the shock would have been much greater, “he says.

His case is common among people vaccinated with Corminaty. In fact, lymphadenopathy are among the 10 most common adverse effects of this vaccine that has registered the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS). As of May 30, 976 cases had been reported in Spain, 8% of the total reactions reported on that vaccine.

What is a lymphadenopathy

The term lymphadenopathy O adenopatía refers to a disease of the lymph nodes and many times it is used as a synonym for an inflammation or an increase in their size.

The ganglia are part of the lymphatic system, which has as one of its main functions protect the body from infection. These nodes act as filters, trapping viruses and bacteria before they affect other parts of the body.

For this reason, lymphadenopathy appears many times with diseases caused by viruses, from hepatitis to measles, rubella or flu. Also when the infection is caused by a bacterium, as in brucellosis, tuberculosis, plague, diphtheria or mononucleosis, as had happened to Alicia in the past.

Another disease that can inflame glands They are of the immunological type, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome or hypersensitivity to drugs. Also in other cases, lymphadenopathy is caused by malignant diseases, such as lymphomas and other types of cancer, as well as metastases. Finally deposit diseases, such as Niemman-Pick or Gaucher, as well as others of unknown cause, such as sarcoidosis, kawasaki syndrome.

Lymphadenopathy as a reaction to Corminaty

Lymphadenopathy has been recorded after pfizer vaccine but also Modern, also based on the messenger RNA technology. “What happens is that the RNA that is injected into the forearm and produces genetic information also goes to the normally closest ganglion and causes this inflammatory reaction,” explains José Ramón Ramos Rincón, internist and spokesperson for the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine ( SEMI).

The internist believes that this type of reaction is likely to be more frequent in young people, since their immune system is more powerful or reactive: “It also occurs when adenopathy occurs as a reaction to an infection, it happens more among young people.”

José Barberán, from the Internal Medicine Service of the HM Montepríncipes University Hospital, agrees that «a higher frequency has only been observed in the population under 64 years of age, but not with respect to gender, and it seems to be related to greater response capacity immunological that the young population has ”.

However, Ramos Rincón affirms that there is no reason to worry if one perceives that a lymph node swells after the vaccine. «There is no reason to be alarmed, in general it is a slight and transitory phenomenon that disappears by itself. But I do recommend consulting a specialist so that he can alleviate the symptoms and so that the reaction is recorded, “he explains.

And is that these ganglia, says the doctor, can cause “discomfort and local pain.” In addition, they can accompany the vaccinated person for weeks and even months. “It is common for inflammation to appear in a few days but take weeks or even a month to disappear, it also happens when they are caused by infections,” adds the internist.

The internist at the HM Montepríncipe Hospital states that “lymphadenopathy usually appears between the 2nd and 7th day after the administration of the vaccine and has an average duration of about 10 days. Usually they only require symptomatic treatment with usual analgesics or anti-inflammatories ”.

In Barberán’s opinion “they constitute a local problem with little or no general affectation (fever, malaise, etc.) that gradually diminishes until disappearing in a few weeks. However, if the adenopathies persist for more than 6 weeks, they may require some additional imaging studies such as ultrasound and surveillance to see their evolution. This problem is of particular concern in women being followed for breast cancer.

Ramos Rincón also warns that you have to go to a specialist if the node does not stop growing. “If the size continues to increase beyond a few days after vaccination, it would be necessary to consult again, as it may be a symptom of another pathology even if it coincides in the time after the vaccine.”

The 10 most common reactions after the Pfizer vaccine

Reaction number of cases percentage (of total reactions
PYREXIA 5.084 38%
HEADACHE 3.743 28%
MYALGIA 2.842 21%
DISCOMFORT 1.596 12%
SICKNESS 1.131 8%
FATIGUE 1.122 8%
ARTRALGIA 1.120 8%
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