Guillain-Barré syndrome: multifactorial mechanisms versus defined subgroups

F G van der Meché, L H Visser, B C Jacobs, H P Endtz, J Meulstee, P A van Doorn
Journal of Infectious Diseases 1997, 176: S99-102
The clinical spectrum of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is summarized in relation to antecedent infections and anti-ganglioside antibodies. Associations exist between a pure motor form of GBS, diarrhea, Campylobacter jejuni infection, and anti-GM1 antibodies; between cranial nerve involvement and Miller Fisher syndrome, C. jejuni infection, and anti-GQ1b antibodies; and between variants, such as severe sensory involvement and cytomegalovirus infection. These three clinical variants are suggested to form the extremes of a continuous spectrum; they are discussed in relation to the more pathologically defined patterns of acute motor axonal neuropathy and acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy. In particular, patients with a clinically pure motor variant of GBS, diarrhea, anti-GM1 antibodies, or C. jejuni infection seem to respond better to early treatment with high-dose immunoglobulins than to plasma exchange.


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