How is Guillain-Barré syndrome differentiated from enteroviral disease?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Guillain-Barré syndrome is an acute demyelinating polyneuropathy and, in the postpolio era, is the most common cause of generalized paralysis. The major symptom is rapidly progressive paralysis, which, unlike in polio, is symmetrical. Paralysis of the lower extremities is followed by paralysis of the upper extremities, and both proximal and distal muscle groups are involved. Deep tendon reflexes are initially reduced and are later absent. A mild sensory disturbance or paresthesia occurs. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) typically has an elevated protein level and a normal cell count (albuminocytologic dissociation).


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