Guillain-Barré Syndrome*

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Since publication of the paper by Guillain, Barré, and Strohl1 in 1916 describing 2 cases of polyneuritis with albuminocytologic dissociation with a favorable result, many investigators have presented their opinions in an attempt to clarify the status of this syndrome. Unfortunately, almost every author gave his particular modification of the Guillain-Barré syndrome a new name, and as many as thirty appellations have been found in the literature. The following are examples: radiculoneuritis with acellular hyperalbuminosis of cerebrospinal fluid,2 acute infectious polyneuritis,3 polyradiculoneuritis with albuminocytologic dissociation,4 acute ascending paralysis,5 infectious polyneuritis,6 acute encephalo-myelo-radiculoneuritis,7 polyneuritis of unknown etiology,8 acute polyradiculoneuritis,9 encephalo-myelo-radiculitis,10 infectious neuronitis,11 polyradiculoneuritis,12 neuronitis,13 albuminocytologic dissociation in cerebrospinal fluid with xanthochromia,14 polyradiculoneuritis with albumino-cytologic dissociation of cerebrospinal fluid,15 myeloradiculoneuritis with cell protein dissociation,16 myeloradiculitis,17 acute polyneuritis,18 acute infectious meningomyelo-radiculitis,19 meningomyelo-encephalitis and meningo-radiculomyelitis,20 polyneuritis with facial diplegia,21 curable polyradiculoneuritis,22 infective neuronitis,23 peripheral neuritis,24 chronic progressive polyneuritis,25 polyneuritis,26 acute diffuse polyradiculoneuritis,27 acute polyneuritis with facial diplegia,28 acute benign infectious myelitis,29 acute infective polyneuritis,30 acute febrile polyneuritis,31 multiple neuritis,32 toxic neuronitis of pregnancy,33 acute polyradiculoneuronitis,34 meningo-encephalo-myelo-neuritis.35 In spite of the multiplicity of titles, the whole subject “is still in the formative stage and up to this time has hardly advanced beyond the detailed clinical description and possible relationships”, to quote the excellent work of Taylor and McDonald21 published in 1932.

Although it is generally a good practice to avoid a proper name and to use an anatomic term, in this particular syndrome it would be well to abandon the multiple anatomic terms and merely. . .



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