[Guillain-Barre syndrome. Experience in a third level hospital]

J F Téllez-Zenteno, J C Jacinto-Tinajero, A Avila-Funes, G García-Ramos, O Negrete-Pulido, H Sentíes-Madrid
Revista de Investigación Clínica; Organo del Hospital de Enfermedades de la Nutrición 2001, 53 (4): 311-4

INTRODUCTION: Acute peripheral neuropathy represents a medical emergency. The causes of it are diverse and plentiful. The most common cause of acute paralytic peripheral neuropathy is the Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). As many as 85% of those affected can be expected to make an excellent recovery.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the principal risk factors associated, clinical manifestations, treatment, evolution and complications of 28 cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in the "Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán".

METHODS: We search in our computer records all files under diagnostic of GBS, during the last ten years. We found 28 cases that were available to study.

RESULTS: Mean age was 37 years old (SD 17.2). Fifteen patients were female (54%) and 13 were male (46%). Nine patients (32%) were preceded by a superior via infection, 5 (18%) by a diarrhea illness and 14 patients had not a predisposing factor. The duration of symptoms before diagnostic has a median of 7 days (2-15). Twenty-six patients (93%) had an ascending paralysis and 18 had paresthesias (64%). The most frequent subtype was acute inflammatory-demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) in 18 patients (64%), acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN) in 5 (18%), acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) in 3 (11%) and 2 patients (7%) had the Fisher-Miller syndrome. Fifteen patients (54%) developed respiratory involvement requiring mechanical ventilation. Twenty-four patients (86%) had cerebrospinal fluid proteins elevated. Twenty patients (72%) had a total recovery, 6 (21%) had a partial recovery and 2 had not any response (7%).

DISCUSSION: GBS is a particularly highstakes illness in that its onset is sudden and paralysis is frequently extreme (requiring assisted respiration), however, as many as 85% of those affected can be expected to make an excellent recovery. In our study the majority of patients (54%) develop respiratory involvement requiring mechanical ventilation but in this group the majority had a favorable outcome (71%).

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