Phrenic nerve conduction in the early stage of Guillain-Barre syndrome might predict the respiratory failure

Acta Neurol Scand. 2007 Oct;116(4):255-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2007.00874.x.


Objective: To investigate whether phrenic nerve conduction in the early phase of Guillain- Barre syndrome (GBS) predicts the need for respiratory assistance during the subsequent clinical course.

Material and methods: We performed electrophysiological examinations of conventional peripheral nerve conduction and phrenic nerve conduction for GBS patients within 14 days from the onset. We excluded patients who had already been treated with immuno-related therapy and respiratory assistance.

Results: Fifteen patients were enrolled. Three patients with the sum of phrenic nerve latency longer than 30 ms and the sum of bilateral diaphragmatic compound muscle action potential amplitude smaller than 0.3 mV required respiratory assistance after the conduction test.

Conclusion: Our findings showed that not only delayed distal latency but also decreased amplitude may predict the need for respiratory assistance during the subsequent disease course.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / complications
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Neural Conduction / physiology*
  • Phrenic Nerve / physiopathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy