A clinical prognostic scoring system for Guillain-Barré syndrome

Lancet Neurol. 2007 Jul;6(7):589-94. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(07)70130-8.


Background: Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an acute post-infectious immune-mediated peripheral neuropathy with a highly variable clinical course and outcome. We aimed to develop and validate a scoring system based on clinical characteristics in the acute phase of GBS to predict outcome at 6 months.

Methods: We studied patients with GBS who were unable to walk independently. A derivation set included 388 patients from two randomised controlled trials and one pilot study. Potential predictors were assessed for their association with the inability to walk independently at 6 months. A simple clinical scoring system was developed on the basis of regression coefficients of predictors in a multivariable logistic regression model. Model performance was quantified with respect to discrimination (area under receiver operating characteristics curve, AUC) and calibration (graphically). We validated our scoring system in a set of 374 patients from another randomised trial.

Findings: We included three variables that were predictive of poor outcome at 6 months in our model: age, preceding diarrhoea, and GBS disability score at 2 weeks after entry. Scores ranged from 1 to 7, with three categories for age, two for diarrhoea, and five for GBS disability score at 2 weeks. Predictions corresponding to these prognostic scores ranged from 1% to 83% for the inability to walk independently at 6 months. Predictions agreed well with observed outcome frequencies (adequate calibration) and showed a very good discriminative ability (AUC 0.85) in both data sets.

Interpretation: A simple scoring system for patients with GBS, based on three clinical characteristics, accurately predicts outcome at 6 months. The system could be used to counsel individual patients and identify high-risk groups to guide future trials.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Area Under Curve
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index*