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Brain Behav Immun Health . Guillain-Barré syndrome associated with COVID-19: A systematic review

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  • Brain Behav Immun Health . Guillain-Barré syndrome associated with COVID-19: A systematic review

    Brain Behav Immun Health

    . 2023 Jan 17;100578.
    doi: 10.1016/j.bbih.2022.100578. Online ahead of print.
    Guillain-Barré syndrome associated with COVID-19: A systematic review

    Vitória Pimentel 1 2 , Vanessa Wallau Luchsinger 1 2 , Gabriel Leal Carvalho 1 2 , Allan Marinho Alcará 1 3 , Nathalia Bianchini Esper 1 4 , Daniel Marinowic 1 3 5 , Gabriele Zanirati 1 3 , Jaderson Costa da Costa 1 3 5



    With the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the whole world was impacted by a pandemic. With the passage of time and knowledge about the dynamics and viral propagation of this disease, the short-, medium- and long-term repercussions are still being discovered. During this period, it has been learned that various manifestations of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can affect the nervous system. In recent months, a variety of studies and case reports have proposed an association between COVID-19 and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). The present work aims to systematically review the publications available to date to verify the relationship between these two pathologies and the characteristics of post-COVID GBS. There were 156 studies included in this work, resulting in a total of 436 patients. The findings show a mean age of the patients of 61,38 years and a male majority. The GBS symptoms began on average 19 days after the onset of COVID-19 infection. Regarding GBS, the main manifestations found included generalized weakness, reflex reduction, facial paresis/paralysis and hypoesthesia. As expected, the most common result in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis was albuminocytological dissociation. A pattern of blood analysis findings common to all patients was not observed due to non-standardization of case reports. Regarding electrodiagnostic studies, acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) appeared as the most common subtype of GBS in this study. There have been reports, to a lesser extent, of acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN), acute sensorimotor axonal neuropathy (AMSAN), the pharyngeal-cervical-brachial variant (PCB), and Miller-Fisher syndrome (MFS). The GBS treatment used was mainly intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and plasma exchange (PLEX). Therefore, the present study reports a high prevalence of hospitalization and intensive care units ICU admissions, conjecturing a relationship between the development of GBS and the severity of COVID-19. Despite the severity, most patients showed improvement in GBS symptoms after treatment, and their residual symptoms did not include motor involvement. Therefore, the development of GBS seems to be related to COVID-19 infection, as reported by the present systematic review.

    Keywords: COVID-19; Guillain–Barré; Miller-Fisher; Peripheral nervous system; SARS-CoV-2.