Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Acute encephalitis, myoclonus and Sweet syndrome after mRNA-1273 vaccine


A patient presented with fever, generalised rash, confusion, orofacial movements and myoclonus after receiving the first dose of mRNA-1273 vaccine from Moderna. MRI was unremarkable while cerebrospinal fluid showed leucocytosis with lymphocyte predominance and hyperproteinorrachia. The skin evidenced red, non-scaly, oedematous papules coalescing into plaques with scattered non-follicular pustules. Skin biopsy was consistent with a neutrophilic dermatosis. The patient fulfilled the criteria for Sweet syndrome. A thorough evaluation ruled out alternative infectious, autoimmune or malignant aetiologies, and all manifestations resolved with glucocorticoids. While we cannot prove causality, there was a temporal correlation between the vaccination and the clinical findings.

  • COVID-19
  • dermatology
  • vaccination/immunisation
  • neurology
  • unwanted effects / adverse reactions

This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.