Guillain-Barre syndrome: a clinical study in King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital

Pongpak Areeyapinan, Kammant Phanthumchinda
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand 2010, 93 (10): 1150-5

BACKGROUND: Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is an acute,fatal, but treatable polyradiculopathy. Clinical data concerning this entity is scarce in Thailand The purpose of the present study was to describe clinical profiles and management of GBS as well as to determine prognostic factors in GBS.

MATERIAL AND METHOD: Clinical data of GBS in King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital during 2002-2007 were searched by using in-patients hospital database. Asbury and Cornblath's criteria were applied for the diagnosis of GBS. Clinical data, electrophysiological data, management, and clinical prognostic factors were collected and analyzed by SPSS version 16.

RESULTS: Fifty-five patients with GBS were recruited, 26 wire male and 29 were female. Mean age was 43 +/- 17 years. History of antecedent infection included: respiratory tract 29%, gastrointestinal tract 7%, ear 2%, and non-specific infection 14%. Initial presentations were limb weakness 87%, limb numbness 78%, bulbar weakness 31%, and facial weakness 18%. Electrodiagnostic study revealed demyelinating process in 54% and axonopathy in 46%. Twenty-nine patients received intravenous immunoglobulin while 13 patients underwent plasmapheresis. Clinical outcomes were satisfactory in most of the patients and only two patients died from sepsis and pneumonia. On discharge, the status of the patients were Hughes grade 1-4 in 73%, 14%, 5%, and 4% respectively. Bulbar paresis as the presenting symptom was the only clinical prognostic factor that significantly determined airway compromised and subsequently respiratory failure.

CONCLUSION: Clinical features of GBS in the present series were characterized by generalized muscle weakness with mild numbness in combination with facial and bulbar paresis in nearly half of patients. Respiratory failure was encountered in 9% of cases. Clinical outcomes were satisfactory in most of the patients with or without specific treatment. The most significant predictor for adverse clinical course was the bulbar paresis as a presenting symptom and patients who presented with less disability score had a better recovery.

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