Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction in Guillain-Barré syndrome

J Clin Neurosci. 2015 Jul;22(7):1201-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2014.12.012. Epub 2015 Mar 13.


We present a 51-year-old woman with clinical and neurophysiological evidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) who developed a generalised headache and autonomic dysfunction with sinus tachycardia, hypertension, gastrointestinal motility symptoms and urinary retention. MRI/MRA demonstrated cerebral vasoconstriction and a small convexity subarachnoid haemorrhage which resolved after 3 months. Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) is characterised by headache, focal neurological deficits or seizures, and reversible cerebral vasoconstriction. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of RCVS complicating autonomic dysfunction in GBS. This case depicts a rare complication of a common condition and also sheds light on the potential mechanism of RCVS. Neurologists should be aware that autonomic dysfunction can lead to RCVS in GBS.

Keywords: Autonomic dysfunction; Guillain–Barré; Headache; Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / drug therapy
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / complications*
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / complications
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vasoconstriction*


  • Antihypertensive Agents