Guillain–Barré syndrome – Literature overview
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Outpatient Healthcare Clinic Medyk in Młynary, Elbląg, Poland
Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
Submission date: 2014-07-01
Acceptance date: 2014-07-17
Online publication date: 2014-08-15
Publication date: 2020-04-06
Corresponding author
Piotr M. Kowalski   

Janowicza 32/13, 10-690 Olsztyn, Poland. Tel.: +48 508 110 789.
Pol. Ann. Med. 2014;21(2):158–161
Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) is one of the most prevalently acquired polyneuropathies. In the past, once regarded as separate disease, now it is described as a group of few acute neuropathy subtypes of autoimmune origin. Although this disease may occur at any stage of life, equally affecting both women and men, the risk increases with age and is relatively low in children.

Aim of this work is to present pathogenesis, clinical picture, as well as current diagnostic methods and treatment of GBS.

Although GBS is usually preceded by a mild virus infection, sometimes it is associated with a bacterial infection affecting either respiratory or digestive system. Initial symptom of classic form of GBS is usually a symmetrical paresis of proximal part of lower limbs, which gradually expands affecting upper limbs and trunk muscles. In case of diaphragmatic and intercostal nerves involvement, muscle weakness eventually leads to respiratory failure. As paralysis continues, deep reflexes tend to weaken and disappear. Diagnosis of GBS is carried out on the basis of clinical picture, cerebrospinal fluid analysis and electrophysiological study. The range and type of treatment mainly depend on severity of clinical signs and a phase of the disease.

Diagnosis and treatment of GBS are crucial issues in clinical practice, because approximately 25% of patients can develop respiratory failure, significant disability followed by GBS present in 20%, and chronic fatigue in 60%–70% of patients. Despite symptomatic treatment and immunotherapy, mortality associated with GBS still ranges from 4% to 15%.

None declared.
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