Acute relapsing Guillain-Barré syndrome after long asymptomatic intervals

Arch Neurol. 1990 Jan;47(1):82-4. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1990.00530010104027.


Five patients who recovered from an initial episode of Guillain-Barré syndrome had acute relapses 4, 10, 15, 17, and 36 years later, respectively. Two patients had multiple subsequent relapses. The antecedent illnesses, distribution of weakness, and clinical courses of each relapse were similar for each patient, except that relapses in three patients were briefer than the initial episode. One patient had asymptomatic sarcoidosis. Pharyngeal, oculomotor, and diaphragmatic weakness requiring a ventilator were common. Complete recovery or mild residual deficits, return of reflexes, normal cerebrospinal fluid protein at the onset of recurrent episodes, and normal or virtually normal nerve conduction velocities at various times distinguished these patients from those with more typical chronic relapsing inflammatory polyneuropathy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / complications
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / diagnosis*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / pathology
  • Recurrence
  • Time Factors