Objective: To comprehensively investigate the relationship between antibodies to single glycolipids and their complexes and Guillain-Barré syndrome subtypes and clinical features.
Methods: In acute sera from 199 patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome, immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to glycolipids and ganglioside complexes were tested using ELISA against individual antigens from single glycolipids including gangliosides (LM1, GM1, GM1b, GD1a, GalNAc-GD1a, GD1b, GT1a, GT1b, GQ1b) and a neutral glycolipid, asialo-GM1 (GA1), and antigens from the combination of 2 different glycolipids. Based on serial nerve conduction studies, the electrodiagnoses were as follows: 69 demyelinating subtype, 85 axonal subtypes, and 45 unclassified.
Results: Significant associations were detected between acute motor axonal neuropathy subtype and IgG antibodies to GM1, GalNAc-GD1a, GA1, or LM1/GA1 complex. Reversible conduction failure was significantly associated with IgG antibodies to GM1, GalNAc-GD1a, GD1b, or complex of LM1/GA1. No significant association was demonstrated between acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and any of the glycolipids or ganglioside complexes. Anti-ganglioside complex antibodies alone were detected in 7 patients (5 axonal subtype).
Conclusions: The current study demonstrates that antibodies to single glycolipids and ganglioside complexes are associated with acute motor axonal neuropathy or acute motor conduction block neuropathy but not acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.
Classification of evidence: This study provides Class II evidence that antibodies to glycolipids are increased in patients with acute motor axonal neuropathy and acute motor conduction block neuropathy but not acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.
© 2014 American Academy of Neurology.