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Neuromuscular transmission is not impaired in axonal Guillain–Barré syndrome


Background Previous studies have shown that anti-GQ1b antibodies induce massive neuromuscular blocking. If anti-GM1 and -GD1a antibodies have similar effects on the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in human limb muscles, this may explain selective motor involvement in axonal Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS).

Methods Axonal-stimulating single-fibre electromyography was performed in the extensor digitorum communis muscle of 23 patients with GBS, including 13 with the axonal form whose sera had a high titre of serum IgG anti-GM1 or -GD1a antibodies.

Results All patients with axonal or demyelinating GBS showed normal or near-normal jitter, and no blocking.

Conclusion In both axonal and demyelinating GBS, neuromuscular transmission is not impaired. Our results failed to support the hypothesis that anti-GM1 or -GD1a antibody affects the NMJ. In GBS, impulse transmission is presumably impaired in the motor nerve terminal axons proximal to the NMJ.

  • Anti-GM1 antibody
  • anti-GD1a antibody
  • Guillain–Barré syndrome
  • acute motor axonal neuropathy
  • neuromuscular transmission
  • single-fibre electromyography
  • EMG
  • neuromuscular
  • neuropathy
  • neurophysiol
  • clinical

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