How does lower extremity weakness present in Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS)?

Updated: May 04, 2018
  • Author: Michael T Andary, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Answer

Lower extremity weakness usually begins first and ascends symmetrically and progressively over the first several days. Upper extremity, trunk, facial, and oropharyngeal weakness is observed to a variable extent. Marked asymmetrical weakness calls the diagnosis of GBS into question.

Patients may be unable to stand or walk despite reasonable strength, especially when ophthalmoparesis or impaired proprioception is present.


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