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Transplantation. 2001 May 15;71(9):1311-6.

Guillain-Barré syndrome after solid organ transplantation.

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  • 1Division of Immunology and Organ Transplantation, The University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston, USA.



Neurological complications occur frequently in solid organ transplant recipients. However, the peripheral nerves are usually spared significant toxicity. Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS) is the most common cause of acute neuropathy in adults. Despite numerous reports of GBS in recipients of bone marrow transplants, GBS has rarely been reported in recipients of solid organ transplants. Recent evidence supports the role of the immune system in initiating and perpetuating the ongoing neural damage in this entity. Infectious agents may initiate the immune attack, and the association of GBS with cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection has been studied extensively.


To alert clinicians to the occurrence of GBS in the latter setting, we report five new cases of GBS after solid organ transplant and summarize five other cases previously reported in the literature.


The GBS cases (published and unpublished) have much in common: all the patients were men, most had evidence of active CMV infection at or before the onset of GBS, and all but one developed GBS within 1 year after transplantation (range 1-26 months).


The association of GBS with cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in the nontransplant population and evidence of CMV infection in almost all reported cases of GBS in solid organ transplant recipients suggest that CMV may have a role in triggering this illness.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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