COVID-19 and Guillain-Barré Syndrome: A Case Report and Review of Literature

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During the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Northern Italy, we observed a 57-year-old man developing acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy, a variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), 12 days after severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Similarly to other bacterial and viral infections, dysregulation of the immune system due to post-infectious mechanisms, such as the molecular mimicry, could lead to an indirect damage of the peripheral nervous system related to SARS-CoV-2. GBS causes motor dysfunctions that are not easily recognizable in non-neurological settings or in patients requiring ventilatory assistance. Several reports also suggested that GBS and Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS) could be neurological complications of COVID-19. Therefore, we performed a review of the 29 articles so far published, describing 33 GBS cases and five MFS cases associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. We recommend awareness of this rare, but treatable, neurological syndrome, which may also determine a sudden and otherwise unexplained respiratory deterioration in COVID-19 patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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