Contributor: Gordon K. Klintworth
Guillain-Barré syndrome (acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, acute inflammatory polyradiculoneuropathy) is an acute inflammatory demyelinating disease that mainly affects motor fibers of peripheral nerves. In some cases the sensory or autonomic fibers may also be disturbed and ~5% of patients have Fisher syndrome. The protein level in the CSF is elevated with a minimal pleocytosis. The neuropathy usually starts to resolve within 2-4 weeks after it begins and most patients fully recover. Sometimes the condition pursues a progressive course with numerous relapses (chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy)[polyneuropathy - chronic inflammatory]. Plasmapheresis and intravenous gamma globulin is beneficial. One acute form of the disorder (acute motor axonal neuropathy)[neuropathy - acute motor axonal] is often preceded by infection with Campylobacter jejuni. Acute inflammatory polyradiculoneuropathy may follow vaccination as after influenza vaccine and it may complicate an infection, such as Q fever.