Muscle strength recovery in treated Guillain-Barré syndrome: a prospective study for the first 18 months after onset

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2007 Sep;86(9):716-24. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31813e0b67.


Objective: To assess the recovery in muscle strength and functional capacities in subjects with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) for 18 months after onset.

Design: Six GBS patients were treated and transferred to our rehabilitation center within the first week of recovery.

Results: Isometric and isokinetic strength increased significantly during the first 6 months (P < 0.01). Between 6 and 18 months, muscle strength increased less rapidly (P < 0.05). We showed a significant negative correlation between plateau period duration and knee extensors, elbow flexors muscles strength recovery (rho = -0.82; P = 0.05). At 6 months, manual muscle testing and functional independence motor total scores were close to normal levels. At 18 months, all patients satisfied the criteria for a full recovery. However, they felt difficulties after prolonged exercise.

Conclusions: Until 18 months of recovery, dynamometric measures still showed significant strength improvement. This underscores the need for a minimal 24 months of clinical follow-up with an individualized rehabilitation management program.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Muscle Weakness / rehabilitation*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Time Factors