Pain and the Guillain-Barré syndrome in children under 6 years old

J Pediatr. 1999 Jun;134(6):773-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(99)70297-0.


During a 15-year period, 29 children, under the age of 6 years, with acute Guillain-Barré syndrome were seen at our institution. A review of their charts revealed that pain was a symptom in all patients and was present on admission in 79% of cases. Pain was often the most important symptom and led to misdiagnosis in 20 patients (69%). In 11 of these children, symptoms were present for more than a week before the correct diagnosis was made. The most common pain syndrome was back and lower limb pain, present in 83% of patients. Pediatricians should consider Guillain-Barré syndrome in their differential diagnosis when faced with a child who has lower limb pain and areflexia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / physiopathology*
  • Reflex, Abnormal
  • Retrospective Studies