Guillain-Barré syndrome associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. A systematic review

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Abstract

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) incidence can increase during outbreaks of infectious illnesses. A few cases of GBS associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection have been reported. The aim was to identify specific clinical features of GBS associated with COVID-19. PubMed, Embase and Cochrane were searched from 1 November 2019 to 17 May 2020 and included all papers with full text in English, Spanish, French or Italian, reporting original data of patients with GBS and COVID-19. Data were extracted according to a predefined protocol. A total of 18 patients reported in 14 papers were included in this review. All the patients were symptomatic for COVID-19, with cough and fever as the most frequently reported symptoms. The interval between the onset of symptoms of COVID-19 and the first symptoms of GBS ranged from -8 to 24 days (mean 9 days; median 10 days). Most of the patients had a typical GBS clinical form predominantly with a demyelinating electrophysiological subtype. Mechanical ventilation was necessary in eight (44%) patients. Two (11%) patients died. Published cases of GBS associated with COVID-19 report a sensorimotor, predominantly demyelinating GBS with a typical clinical presentation. Clinical features and disease course seem similar to those observed in GBS related to other etiologies. These results should be interpreted with caution since only 18 cases have been heterogeneously reported so far.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2361-2370
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Volume27
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19/complications
  • Demyelinating Diseases/etiology
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome/etiology
  • Humans

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