How do the clinical features of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) compare with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)?

Updated: Jun 11, 2018
  • Author: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHCM, CPE, FAAPL  more...
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Comparison of clinical features of Guillain-Barré syndrome with CIDP

  • Patients with CIDP have a more slowly progressive weakness and a protracted course either monophasic or relapsing, and relapses are much more common with CIDP. While a history of viral infection is often obtained with Guillain-Barré syndrome, this is rather uncommon in CIDP. Occurrence of respiratory failure is very uncommon with CIDP. Both conditions are associated with areflexia, typical CSF findings of increased protein, abnormal nerve conduction studies (patchy conduction slowing with Guillain-Barré syndrome and diffuse slowing with CIDP). While prednisone therapy on its own has no proven role in Guillain-Barré syndrome, CIDP patients are sensitive to prednisone therapy.

  • Guillain-Barré syndrome and CIDP have been associated with HIV-1 infection. They are most common in infected patients who are otherwise asymptomatic. In certain cases, Guillain-Barré syndrome may occur with seroconversion. The clinical features of Guillain-Barré syndrome and CIDP in HIV-1 infected patients are similar to patients without HIV-1 infection.


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