Clinical characteristics of Guillain–Barré syndrome in a tropical country: a Brazilian experience

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To analyze the clinical variants, outcomes, and prognosis of Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) in a Brazilian population.

Materials and methods–

Clinical and laboratory data of 149 cases of GBS diagnosed from 1994 to 2007 were analyzed.


Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) was the most frequent variant (81.8%) of GBS, followed by acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) (14.7%) and acute motor and sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN) (3.3%). The incidence of GBS was 0.3/100,000 for the state of Rio Grande do Norte and cases occurred at a younger age. GBS was preceded by infections, with the axonal variant associated with episodes of diarrheas (P = 0.025). Proximal weakness was more frequent in AIDP, and distal weakness predominant in the axonal variant. Compared to 42.4% of cases with AIDP (P < 0.0001), 84.6% of cases with the axonal variant had nadir in <10 days. Individuals with the axonal variant took longer to recover deambulation (P < 0.0001). The mortality of GBS was 5.3%.


A predominance of the AIDP variant was seen, and the incidence of the disease decreased with age. As expected, the distribution of weakness correlated with the clinical variants, and individuals with the axonal variant had a poorer prognosis.

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