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Neurology. 2005 Jan 11;64(1):44-9.

HLA class II alleles are not a general susceptibility factor in Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Erasmus Medical Center, PO Box 1738, Rm. Ee 2230, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



To assess whether human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 alleles confer susceptibility to Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) or are related to specific clinical or serologic subgroups of GBS.


The HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 loci were genotyped by PCR amplification with sequence-specific primers in 164 well-documented Dutch patients with GBS and 207 healthy Dutch control subjects. Patients with GBS were divided into subgroups based on clinical features, severity of disease, antecedent infection, and anti-ganglioside antibodies. Data were compared with those of all case-control HLA studies in GBS performed previously.


In this case-control study, HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 alleles did not differ between GBS patients and control subjects. The frequency of HLA-DRB1*01 was increased in patients who needed mechanical ventilation (odds ratio 4.2; 95% CI 1.9 to 9.6; p(c) = 0.02). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that this association was independent of the severity of paresis and the presence of cranial nerve involvement (all p < 0.05). There was a tendency toward an association between certain HLA alleles and several anti-ganglioside antibodies.


Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II antigens are not a general susceptibility factor in Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS). However, HLA class II alleles may be a determinant in distinct subgroups of GBS, indicating the need for further exploration in large-scale studies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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