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No To Shinkei. 2000 Sep;52(9):805-9.

[Neurosarcoidosis with girdle sensation and polyradiculoneuropathy masquerading as Guillain-Barré syndrome].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


We herein report two patients with neurosarcoidosis presenting girdle sensation in the trunk and polyradiculoneuritis. The first patient, a 53-year-old woman, manifested subacute progressive paresthesia in all four limbs and below the Th 3 level with girdle sensation from the thorax to lower abdomen and mild weakness in the left upper limb and the bilateral lower limbs. The patient was diagnosed to have sarcoidosis based on a biopsy of the scalenus anticus lymph nodes. The second patient, a 63-year-old woman, showed an acute onset of weakness and paresthesia in all four limbs and girdle sensation from the Th 5 to Th 8 level. On examination, she demonstrated diminished tendon reflexes in all four limbs, mild to severe weakness in all four limbs, paresthesia in all four limbs and below the Th 5 level. Although Guillain-Barré syndrome was initially suspected in this patient, the presence of girdle sensation led us to examine the possibility of neurosarcoidosis. Her examination demonstrated an abnormal accumulation of gallium in the bilateral hilar lymph nodes and mediastinum on scintigraphy, an elevated CD 4/CD 8 ratio in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, a negative tuberculin reaction, and elevated serum lysozyme level. These findings thus fulfilled the clinical criteria for sarcoidosis. None of the two patients showed any abnormalities in the thoracic cord MRI. In the first patient F wave was not evoked in either upper or lower limbs, while in the second patient temporal dispersion on M wave was observed in the right median and both ulnar nerves. We therefore consider the girdle sensation to have not been caused by myelopathy but instead by polyradiculopathy. When sarcoid peripheral neuropathy masquerades as Guillain-Barré syndrome, then the presence of girdle sensation may help diagnosis of neurosarcoidosis.

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