Background: Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an acute inflammatory polyneuropathy commonly characterized by rapidly progressive, symmetric weakness and areflexia.
Materials and methods: We retrospectively assessed the clinical manifestations, results of electrodiagnostic tests, functional status and prognosis of 36 children diagnosed with GBS.
Results: Based on clinical and electrophysiological findings, the patients were classified as having acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP) (n = 25), acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) (n = 10) and acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN) (n = 1). Twenty (55.5%) patients were males and 16 (44.5%) patients were females. The mean age of the 36 patients was 68.1 ± 45.01 months (range, 6-180 months). Five (13.8%) patients were younger than 2 years. The most common initial symptoms were limb weakness, which was documented in 34 (94.4%) patients. In our study, 18 patients (51.4%) showed albuminocytological dissociation (raised protein concentration without pleocytosis) on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination. Three patients (8.3%) required mechanical ventilation therapy during hospitalization. Unfortunately, three (8.3%) patients died; one patient had AIDP and two patients had axonal involvement (one case was AMAN and another case was AMSAN). When we compared the cases of residual sequel/dead and cases of complete recovery for neural involvement type including AIDP, AMAN and AMSAN, we did not find a statistically significant difference between the groups (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Our findings showed that cases of GBS was not uncommon in children younger than 2 years of age, and CSF protein level might be found high in the first week of the disease in about one half of the patients, with a higher rate of morbidity and mortality in patients with axonal involvement than in those with AIDP.
Keywords: Children; Electromyography; Guillain-Barré syndrome.