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The natural history of the Guillain-Barré syndrome in 18 children and 50 adults.
  1. R P Kleyweg,
  2. F G van der Meché,
  3. M C Loonen,
  4. J de Jonge,
  5. B Knip
  1. Department of Neurology, University Hospital Dijkzigt, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


    Plasma exchange (PE) is indicated in adult patients with a severe Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). For children this has not been proven. If the disease runs a milder course in children, the problems experienced with PE might outweight the benefit. In order to evaluate the need for such a specific treatment in children, we compared the severity of the disease between 18 children and 50 adults; no significant differences were found. The mean duration of hospitalisation of all children was 84 days, four children needed artificial ventilation for a mean of 21.5 days and two children died. We conclude therefore that PE is indicated in children with a severe GBS. The final decision, however, depends also on the practical feasibility of the procedure.

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