What is the role of MRI in the diagnosis of 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

MRI is sensitive, but nonspecific, for diagnosis. However, it can reveal nerve root enhancement and may be an effective diagnostic adjunct. [102, 103]

Spinal nerve root enhancement with gadolinium is a nonspecific feature seen in inflammatory conditions and is caused by disruption of the blood-nerve barrier. Selective anterior nerve root enhancement appears to be strongly suggestive of GBS, [104] with the cauda equina nerve roots being enhanced in 83% of patients.


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