COVID-19 as a Trigger of Recurrent Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Pathogens. 2020 Nov 19;9(11):965. doi: 10.3390/pathogens9110965.


Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has been reported to trigger Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). While uncommon, recurrent GBS (rGBS) episodes, triggered by antecedent viral infections, have been reported in a small proportion of GBS patients, here we describe a patient with a recurrent case of GBS, occurring secondary to COVID-19 infection. Before this patient's episode, he had two prior GBS flares, each precipitated by a viral infection followed by complete recovery besides intermittent paresthesias. We also consider the nosology of this illness in the spectrum of rGBS and Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP), with their differing natural histories, prognosis, and therapeutic approaches. For patients who have a history of inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculopathies who develop COVID-19, we recommend close observation for neurologic symptoms over the next days and weeks.

Keywords: Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Neuropathy; SARS-CoV-2 neurological complications; demyelinating polyradiculopathies; para-infectious Guillain–Barré syndrome; recurrent Guillain–Barré syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports