Acute bulbar palsy as a variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome

Korean Inflammatory Neuropathy Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To categorize a syndrome manifesting as prominent acute bulbar palsy (ABP) without limb motor weakness as a variant form of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and differentiate it from Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS) and pharyngeal-cervical-brachial (PCB) variants. Methods: We analyzed cases of ABP without limb motor weakness based on a dataset containing clinical information and the results of antiganglioside antibodies assays for acute immune-mediated neuropathies. Results: Eleven cases with an age at onset ranging from 18 to 65 years (mean 33.8 years) were identified as ABP-plus syndrome. All of the enrolled cases manifested with ABP as the predominant symptom, and with no limb weakness. The following features accompanied ABP in order of decreasing frequency: ophthalmoplegia (n 9, 82%), ataxia (n 9, 82%), and facial palsy (n 6, 55%). An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay study disclosed that immunoglobulin G (IgG) anti-GT1a antibodies were the most frequent (n 11), followed by IgG anti-GQ1b antibodies (n 6). Conclusions: We propose that ABP-plus syndrome without neck or limb weakness is a variant of GBS that is distinct from the MFS and PCB variants. The presence of IgG anti-GT1a antibodies can explain the relationships between the distinct clinical characteristics and the underlying pathomechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-747
Number of pages6
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 23
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Academy of Neurology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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