Cardiovascular disturbances were found to be a common feature of patients with the Guillian-Barré syndrome who were severely paralysed, requiring assisted ventilation. Glycosuria was noted in association with these disturbances, and in five patients investigated we found impaired glucose tolerance tests at the height of the paralysis. Catecholamine and 17-hydroxycorticosteroid urinary excretions were found to be high in four patients investigated when the neuropathy was most severe, and in one patient plasma cortisol levels were high with loss of diurnal variation. With recovery from paralysis cardiovascular disturbances became less marked, catecholamine and 17-hydroxycorticosteroid urinary excretions reverted to normal, glucose tolerance improved but remained abnormal in three patients during the period of observation. It is suggested that increased levels of catecholamines and cortisol contributed to the development of impaired glucose tolerance and cardiovascular disturbances.
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