New England Journal of Medicine
February 6, 2014 Vol. 370 No. 6
Intussusception Risk after Rotavirus Vaccination in U.S. Infants
W. Katherine Yih, Ph.D., M.P.H., Tracy A. Lieu, M.D., M.P.H., Martin Kulldorff, Ph.D., David Martin, M.D., M.P.H., Cheryl N. McMahill-Walraven, M.S.W., Ph.D., Richard Platt, M.D., Nandini Selvam, Ph.D., M.P.H., Mano Selvan, Ph.D., Grace M. Lee, M.D., M.P.H., and Michael Nguyen, M.D.
N Engl J Med 2014; 370:503-512 February 6, 2014 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1303164
International postlicensure studies have identified an increased risk of intussusception after vaccination with the second-generation rotavirus vaccines RotaTeq (RV5, a pentavalent vaccine) and Rotarix (RV1, a monovalent vaccine). We studied this association among infants in the United States.
The study included data from infants 5.0 to 36.9 weeks of age who were enrolled in three U.S. health plans that participate in the Mini-Sentinel program sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration. Potential cases of intussusception and vaccine exposures from 2004 through mid-2011 were identified through procedural and diagnostic codes. Medical records were reviewed to confirm the occurrence of intussusception and the status with respect to rotavirus vaccination. The primary analysis used a self-controlled risk-interval design that included only vaccinated children. The secondary analysis used a cohort design that included exposed and unexposed person-time.
The analyses included 507,874 first doses and 1,277,556 total doses of RV5 and 53,638 first doses and 103,098 total doses of RV1. The statistical power for the analysis of RV1 was lower than that for the analysis of RV5. The number of excess cases of intussusception per 100,000 recipients of the first dose of RV5 was significantly elevated, both in the primary analysis (attributable risk, 1.1 [95% confidence interval, 0.3 to 2.7] for the 7-day risk window and 1.5 [95% CI, 0.2 to 3.2] for the 21-day risk window) and in the secondary analysis (attributable risk, 1.2 [95% CI, 0.2 to 3.2] for the 21-day risk window). No significant increase in risk was seen after dose 2 or 3. The results with respect to the primary analysis of RV1 were not significant, but the secondary analysis showed a significant risk after dose 2.
RV5 was associated with approximately 1.5 (95% CI, 0.2 to 3.2) excess cases of intussusception per 100,000 recipients of the first dose. The secondary analysis of RV1 suggested a potential risk, although the study of RV1 was underpowered. These risks must be considered in light of the demonstrated benefits of rotavirus vaccination. (Funded by the Food and Drug Administration.)
Risk of Intussusception after Monovalent Rotavirus Vaccination
Eric S. Weintraub, M.P.H., James Baggs, Ph.D., Jonathan Duffy, M.D., M.P.H., Claudia Vellozzi, M.D., M.P.H., Edward A. Belongia, M.D., Stephanie Irving, M.H.S., Nicola P. Klein, M.D., Ph.D., Jason M. Glanz, Ph.D., Steven J. Jacobsen, M.D., Ph.D., Allison Naleway, Ph.D., Lisa A. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., and Frank DeStefano, M.D., M.P.H.
N Engl J Med 2014; 370:513-519February 6, 2014DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1311738
Although current rotavirus vaccines were not associated with an increased risk of intussusception in large trials before licensure, recent postlicensure data from international settings suggest the possibility of a small increase in risk of intussusception after monovalent rotavirus vaccination. We examined this risk in a population in the United States.
Participants were infants between the ages of 4 and 34 weeks who were enrolled in six integrated health care organizations in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) project. We reviewed medical records and visits for intussusception within 7 days after monovalent rotavirus vaccination from April 2008 through March 2013. Using sequential analyses, we then compared the risk of intussusception among children receiving monovalent rotavirus vaccine with historical background rates. We further compared the risk after monovalent rotavirus vaccination with the risk in a concurrent cohort of infants who received the pentavalent rotavirus vaccine.
During the study period, 207,955 doses of monovalent rotavirus vaccine (including 115,908 first doses and 92,047 second doses) were administered in the VSD population. We identified 6 cases of intussusception within 7 days after the administration of either dose of vaccine. For the two doses combined, the expected number of intussusception cases was 0.72, resulting in a significant relative risk of 8.4. For the pentavalent rotavirus vaccine, 1,301,810 doses were administered during the study period, with 8 observed intussusception cases (7.11 expected), for a nonsignificant relative risk of 1.1. The relative risk of chart-confirmed intussusception within 7 days after monovalent rotavirus vaccination, as compared with the risk after pentavalent rotavirus vaccination, was 9.4 (95% confidence interval, 1.4 to 103.8). The attributable risk of intussusception after the administration of two doses of monovalent rotavirus vaccine was estimated to be 5.3 per 100,000 infants vaccinated.
In this prospective postlicensure study of more than 200,000 doses of monovalent rotavirus vaccine, we observed a significant increase in the rate of intussusception after vaccination, a risk that must be weighed against the benefits of preventing rotavirus-associated illness. (Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)