Guillain-Barré syndrome after varicella-zoster infection. Report of two cases

J Neurol. 1987 Aug;234(6):437-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00314094.


Two patients developed Guillain-Barré syndrome after varicella-zoster infection; a 4-year-old boy after chickenpox and a 74-year-old man after shingles. Both had decreased CD8-positive lymphocytes in the blood during the course of their illness. These cases and others reported in the literature suggest that varicella-zoster infection is a significant but rare trigger factor of Guillain-Barré syndrome. An alteration in the balance of helper and suppressor lymphocytes may be an important pathogenetic mechanism.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chickenpox / complications*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Herpes Zoster / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / etiology*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / immunology
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / microbiology