Guillain-Barré syndrome associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection in Zimbabwe

C A Thornton, A S Latif, J C Emmanuel
Neurology 1991, 41 (6): 812-5
We studied the clinical features and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) serology of 32 consecutive adults with inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (IDP) admitted to the teaching hospitals in Harare, Zimbabwe. Twenty-nine of the IDP patients had Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and the other three had chronic IDP. Sixteen of 29 (55%) GBS patients were HIV-seropositive, a higher frequency of HIV infection than in blood donors drawn from the population served by these hospitals. All three chronic IDP patients were HIV-seronegative. In all HIV-seropositive patients, GBS was the initial illness that brought the patient to medical attention and led to the diagnosis of HIV infection. Compared with seronegative patients, the HIV-seropositive GBS patients were more likely to have generalized lymphadenopathy, CSF pleocytosis, coexistent CNS disturbance, and prior sexually transmitted disease. GBS in this region of Africa is frequently associated with HIV infection.

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