We aimed to correlate functional disability, electrophysiology, and nerve ultrasound in patients after Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). Seventy-five healthy controls and 41 post-GBS patients (mean 3.4 years, SD ± 2.91 years after onset) underwent clinical, sonographic, and electrophysiological evaluation. Compared to healthy controls, the post-GBS patients showed: (1) a mean Rasch-built Overall Disability Scale score of 31.8 (SD ± 11.6), modified Rasch-built fatigue severity scale score of 15.6 (SD ± 3.2), Medical Research Council sum score of 22 (SD ± 5.6); (2) electrophysiological signs of permanent axonal loss in the majority of the peripheral nerves; (3) sonographical evidence of higher cross-sectional area values (CSA) of the ulnar (elbow, p < 0.001), radial (spiral groove, p < 0.001), tibial nerve (popliteal fossa, p < 0.001) and brachial plexus (supraclavicular space, p < 0.001). No correlation between sonographic and electrophysiological findings was found. Neither nerve ultrasound nor electrophysiology correlated with muscle strength, overall disability, and fatigue scale. Compared to healthy controls, post-GBS patients had significant functional disability. Despite significant abnormalities in both electrophysiology and ultrasound compared to healthy controls, neither electrophysiology nor nerve ultrasound correlated with functional disability of these patients.
Keywords: Guillain-Barré syndrome; electrophysiology; functional disability; nerve ultrasound.
© 2013 Peripheral Nerve Society.