Guillain-Barré syndrome and variants

Neurol Clin. 2013 May;31(2):491-510. doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2013.01.005. Epub 2013 Feb 19.


Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is characterized by rapidly evolving ascending weakness, mild sensory loss, and hyporeflexia or areflexia. Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy was the first to be recognized over a century ago and is the most common form of GBS. Axonal motor and sensorimotor variants have been described in the last three decades and are mediated by molecular mimicry targeting peripheral nerve motor axons. Other rare phenotypic variants have been recently described with pure sensory variant, restricted autonomic manifestations, and the pharyngeal-cervical-brachial pattern. It is important to recognize GBS and its variants because of the availability of equally effective therapies in the form of plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulins.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electrodiagnosis
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Plasma Exchange / methods


  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous