Guillain-Barré syndrome during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: A case report and review of recent literature

J Peripher Nerv Syst. 2020 Jun;25(2):204-207. doi: 10.1111/jns.12382. Epub 2020 May 26.


Acute demyelinating inflammatory polyneuropathy (AIDP) is the most common type of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in Europe, following several viral and bacterial infections. Data on AIDP-patients associated with SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus-2) infection are scarce. We describe the case of a 54-years-old Caucasian female patient with typical clinical and electrophysiological manifestations of AIDP, who was reported positive with PCR for SARS-CoV-2, 3 weeks prior to onset of the neurological symptoms. She did not experience a preceding fever or respiratory symptoms, but a transient loss of smell and taste. At the admission to our neurological department, a progressive proximally pronounced paraparesis, areflexia, and sensory loss with tingling of all extremities were found, which began 10 days before. The modified Erasmus Giullain-Barré Syndrome outcome score (mEGOS) was 3/9 at admission and 1/12 at day 7 of hospitalization. The electrophysiological assessment proved a segmental demyelinating polyneuropathy and cerebrospinal fluid examination showed an albuminocytologic dissociation. The neurological symptoms improved significantly during treatment with immunoglobulins. Our case draws attention to the occurrence of GBS also in patients with COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), who did not experience respiratory or general symptoms. It emphasizes that SARS-CoV-2 induces immunological processes, regardless from the lack of prodromic symptoms. However, it is likely that there is a connection between the severity of the respiratory syndrome and further neurological consequences.

Keywords: COVID-19; Guillain-Barré syndrome; SARS-CoV2.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ageusia / etiology
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / etiology*
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Neural Conduction
  • Olfaction Disorders / etiology
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Symptom Assessment


  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous