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Recovery patterns and long term prognosis for axonal Guillain–Barré syndrome


Background: Little is known about the long term prognosis for patients the severe acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) form of Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS), unlike those with acute inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy (AIDP).

Objective: To clarify the long term prognosis for patients with AMAN.

Methods: Clinical recovery and outcome in 97 consecutive GBS patients were reviewed.

Results: Electrodiagnostic criteria showed that 44 patients (45%) had AMAN, 33 (34%) had AIDP, and 20 (21%) were unclassified. Most of the severely affected patients had received plasmapheresis or immunoglobulin therapy. Slow recovery (inability to walk independently at six months after onset) was found in six of the AMAN patients (14%) and in two of the AIDP patients (6%). Of the six AMAN patients, four could walk independently one year after the onset, and the other two could walk independently at 28 and 57 months after onset. Of the two AIDP patients, one could walk at nine months after the onset while the other died of pneumonia seven months after onset.

Conclusions: AMAN electrodiagnosis is not always a marker of poor recovery. Almost all the severe AMAN patients who had slow recoveries over the first six months could eventually walk independently, although some required several years.

  • AIDP, acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • AMAN, acute motor axonal neuropathy
  • GBS, Guillain–Barré syndrome
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • acute motor axonal neuropathy
  • prognosis

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