Guillain-Barre

Etiology

  • Acute autoimmune d/o causing inflammatory demyelination of peripheral motor and sensory nerves

Risk Factors

  • 2/3 of cases, an infection occurrs ~2w prior→ w/campylobacter, respiratory pathogens, or other organisms

Symptoms

  • Most prominent feature is weakness that's acute, progressive over hours-to-days-weeks, symmetric, w/an ascending pattern of involvement
  • Numbness/tingling legs and hands, often painful
  • SOB that can progress to respiratory failure, double vision
  • Swallowing problems
  • Often autonomic dysfxn→ tachy or brady, orthostasis, diaphoresis
  • Normal mental status

Physical Exam Findings

  • Distal extremity weakness that progresses proximally (i.e. starts in legs)
  • Distal sensory impairment
  • Diminished or absent reflexes
  • Sometimes impaired extra-occular movements, facial muscle weakness
  • Sometimes ataxia