Axillary lymph node imaging in mRNA, vector-based, and mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccine recipients: ultrasound features
COVID-19 vaccines
Unilateral axillary lymphadenopathy
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Igual-Rouilleault, A.C. (Alba Cristina); Soriano, I. (Ignacio); Elizalde, A. (Arlette); et al. "Axillary lymph node imaging in mRNA, vector-based, and mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccine recipients: ultrasound features". European Radiology Journal. 32 (10), 2022, 6598 - 6607
Objectives To assess ultrasound characteristics of ipsilateral axillary lymph nodes after two doses of four different COVID-19 vaccination protocols, to determine whether these parameters differed with age, and to describe how they changed on follow-up imaging. Methods A total of 247 volunteer employees from our center who had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccination were recruited and followed prospectively. Axillary ultrasound of the ipsilateral vaccinated arm was performed the week after receiving the second dose to analyze lymph node features (number, long-axis, cortical thickness, morphology, and vascular imaging). Axillary lymphadenopathy resulting from four vaccination protocols—mRNA (BNT162b2, mRNA-1273), ChAdOx1-S, and mix-and-match—was compared. Analysis was conducted using the Kruskal-Wallis test and post hoc analysis with Bonferroni corrections. Nodal reactogenicity was evaluated for two age groups: young (< 45 years old) and middle-aged ( ≥ 45 years old). All parameters were compared between both groups using an unpaired-sample Student t test. A p value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results Significantly higher values for total number of visible nodes, cortical thickness, Bedi’s classification (p < 0.001), and vascularity (p < 0.05) were observed in mRNA vaccine recipients compared to full ChAdOx1-S protocol recipients. Moreover, mix-and-match protocol recipients showed greater nodal cortical thickness and higher Bedi’s classification than full ChAdOx1-S recipients (p < 0.001). Analyses between age groups revealed greater cortical thickness, Bedi’s classification, and color Doppler signal in younger patients (p < 0.05). Conclusions Nodal parameters of Bedi’s classification and cortical thickness were more often increased in mRNA and mix-andmatch vaccine recipients when compared to ChAdOx1-S vaccine alone, especially in younger patients. Key Points • Hyperplastic lymphadenopathy was observed more frequently in mRNA and mix-and-match vaccine protocols compared to full vector-based vaccination. • Higher values for cortical thickness, Bedi’s classification, and color Doppler signal parameters were identified in younger patients. • Observed lymph node findings normalized in greater than 80% of patients by the third month following vaccination.

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