Intravenous immunoglobulin for Guillain-Barre syndrome: How effective?

Tasdemir H. A. , Dilber C., Kanber Y., Uysal S.

JOURNAL OF CHILD NEUROLOGY, vol.21, no.11, pp.972-974, 2006 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/08830738060210110701
  • Page Numbers: pp.972-974


Guillain-Barre syndrome is an acute inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy characterized by progressive symmetric polyradiculoneuritis, predominantly manifested by weakness and areflexia. In this article, we report our findings in 25 children treated with intravenous immunoglobulin and compare them with the remaining 30 children who received supportive care only. Only supportive care was given to 30 children who were not able to receive intravenous gammaglobulin because of shortcomings in intravenous gammaglobulin availability owing to a poor import during those years. Twenty-five patients were treated with intravenous gammaglobulin; they received intravenous gammaglobulin 0.4 g/kg/day for 5 consecutive days. Seventeen of the intravenous gammaglobulin group had received intravenous gammaglobulin within 10 days after the first symptoms, and eight of them had received intravenous gammaglobulin after the first 10 days. The average time elapsed for the symptoms to reach the maximum level was 6.9 (range 4-12) days in patients receiving intravenous gammaglobulin in the first 10 days, and it was significantly shorter than the time elapsed for the supportive care group (6.9 versus 8.8 days, respectively) (P <.05). Admission to the hospital after the first symptom, disability grade, time to improve in disability grade, the period of hospitalization, and mortality were not different in the intravenous gammaglobulin and supportive care groups (P >.05). Our suggestion for intravenous gammaglobulin treatment in Guillain-Barre syndrome is that if the patient has risk factors for respiratory insufficiency, then the treatment should be started. We more confidently carry out the follow-up of these patients after the results of this study. In conclusion, although it has been reported that intravenous gammaglobulin facilitates improvement in the disease and the decrease in mortality in children with Guillain-Barre syndrome, it has been mentioned in some studies that the intravenous gammaglobulin treatment was not better than supportive care, as in our study. However, further studies are essential to determine when intravenous gammaglobulin should be given to patients having which clinical and laboratory findings.