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J Neurosurg. 2008 Mar;108(3):595-600. doi: 10.3171/JNS/2008/108/3/0595.

Fulminant Guillain-Barré syndrome after closed head injury: a potentially reversible cause of an ominous examination. Case report.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA 17033, USA.


Fulminant Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rapidly progressive form of polyneuropathy in which patients demonstrate eventual flaccid quadriplegia and an absence of brainstem function. Most patients present after a mild upper respiratory or gastrointestinal illness and have nondiagnostic cerebral imaging studies. The authors present a case of fulminant GBS that developed in a 55-year-old alcoholic man 1 week after admission for a closed head injury. The details of this case and a discussion of GBS will be presented. This case provides evidence for combined central and peripheral nervous system involvement in severe cases of GBS. Recognition of fulminant GBS is important to prevent inappropriate declaration of brain death or withdrawal of support in the face of a potentially reversible process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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