How effective is plasma exchange in the treatment 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

Plasma exchange carried out over a 10-day period may aid in removing autoantibodies, immune complexes, and cytotoxic constituents from serum and has been shown to decrease recovery time by 50%. A review of 6 randomized, controlled trials involving 649 participants found that plasma exchange helped speed recovery from GBS without causing harm, apart from being followed by a slightly increased risk of relapse. [114]

In well-controlled clinical trials, the efficacy of IVIGs in GBS patients has been shown to equal that of plasma exchange. [115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123]


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