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Eur J Neurol. 2000 Nov;7(6):685-92.

Clinical epidemiology of Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults in Sweden 1996-97: a prospective study.

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Division of Neurology, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


We described clinical manifestations, outcomes, prognostic indicators and clinico-epidemiological subgroups for 53 adult patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in Sweden during the period 1996-97. These patients were identified from a population of 2.8 million inhabitants and prospectively followed up for one year by a network of neurologists. An additional 10 cases, of whom five were adults who had not been prospectively followed up, were not included in the analyses. At 6 months after onset 80% of the patients could walk without aid, while at 1 year 46% were fully recovered, 42% had mild residual signs or symptoms, 4% had moderate and 6% severe disabilities, and 2% had died. Intravenous human immunoglobulin or plasmapheresis were used in 72% of the patients. The sum of the Medical Research Council (MRC) score at nadir was found as the only significant predictor for residual signs at 1 year in a multivariate model. Three subgroups, with different clinico-epidemiological characteristics, were identified by using cluster analysis. In conclusion, GBS in Sweden is frequently preceded by a respiratory infection, is often treated with immunomodulatory therapies, and exhibits a high recovery rate and a low fatality rate.

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