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Guillain-Barre Syndrome (cont.)

Exams and Tests

Diagnosis is based on a medical history and physical exam. The person will have weakness in their arms and legs. There may be weakness in muscles controlled by cranial nerves. The weakness progresses from the lower extremity to the trunk, upper extremity, and neck. The deep tendon reflexes may be diminished or absent.

  • There is no specific blood test to diagnose Guillain-Barre syndrome.
  • A lumbar puncture (spinal tap in which fluid is taken) can evaluate the cerebrospinal fluid. The analysis will show increased protein without the increase in the number of cells.
  • Nerve conduction analysis will reveal slow nerve conduction velocities due to the damage to the nerve.
  • Lab work that screens for the following diseases should be performed to rule them out: mumps, rubella, cytomegalovirus, and myasthenia gravis.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/23/2014
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Guillain-Barre Syndrome in Childhood »

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), or acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP), is characterized by progressive motor weakness and areflexia.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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