Objectives: To describe the serial grey-scale and color Doppler appearance of ipsilateral axillary lymphadenopathy in response to the Pfizer-BioNTech Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine over 24 to 28 weeks. Methods: The data for this study were collected during an observational study to determine whether mRNA vaccination induced a germinal center B cell reaction in blood and draining axillary lymph nodes. The current study evaluated the serial color Doppler and grey-scale sonographic appearance of these lymph nodes. Ten participants who each underwent 6 sonograms and FNAs over 24 to 28 weeks were included in the study. A total of 11 lateral lymph nodes were identified. Cortical thickness was measured and absence or presence of color Doppler flow in the hilum and lymph node cortex was graded (scale: 0–2). Results: Eleven lateral axillary lymph nodes were biopsied over 24 to 28 weeks. Mean thickness varied through time (P <.001) and was greater weeks 2 to 7 compared to weeks 24 to 28 (mean differences of 2.6 to 1.3; P <.006), but weeks 14 to 17 mean thickness was not different from weeks 24 to 28 (0.57; P =.15). Cortical vascularity was increased in all 11 lymph nodes by week 5. Mean vascularity varied through time (P <.001) and was greater weeks 2 to 14 compared to weeks 24 to 28; mean differences ranged from 1.7 to 0.83 (P <.001). Conclusions: Serial grey-scale and color Doppler appearance of ipsilateral axillary lymph nodes after mRNA vaccination manifest as increased and prolonged cortical thickening and vascularity that diminishes and approaches normal by 24 to 28 weeks.
- axillary lymphadenopathy
- mRNA vaccine