Journal of Neurology

, Volume 256, Issue 11, pp 1899–1905 | Cite as

A Guillain-Barré syndrome variant with prominent facial diplegia

  • Keiichiro SusukiEmail author
  • Michiaki Koga
  • Koichi Hirata
  • Emiko Isogai
  • Nobuhiro YukiEmail author
Original Communication


To determine the clinical features of a Guillain-Barré syndrome variant with prominent facial diplegia, we retrospectively reviewed approximately 8,600 cases referred to our neuroimmunological laboratory for serological tests during the past seven years. Patients’ histories, neurological signs, and laboratory and electrophysiological data were clarified based on their clinical records. Sera obtained during the acute phase were tested for prior infectious serology and anti-ganglioside antibodies. In 22 patients, clinical signs such as acute progressive bifacial weakness, paresthesias in the distal dominant limbs, and hypo- or areflexia, were compatible with a Guillain-Barré syndrome variant, facial diplegia and paresthesias. Other cranial nerve involvements, limb weakness, and ataxia were absent or minimal. Clinical courses were monophasic, the nadir being reached within four weeks. Eighteen patients (86%) had had infectious symptoms within the four weeks preceding the onset of neurological illness. In the infection serology tests, anti-cytomegalovirus IgM antibodies were the most frequent (35%). All the patients had cerebrospinal fluid albuminocytologic dissociation. In nerve conduction studies, 14 (64%) showed demyelination in their limbs. Anti-GM2 IgM antibodies were detected in four patients who had anti-cytomegalovirus IgM antibodies. Patients with conditions similar to facial diplegia and paresthesias, but lacking either distal paresthesias or hyporeflexia, were regarded as having marginal facial diplegia and paresthesias, because they also frequently had features of Guillain-Barré syndrome, such as an antecedent infection or cerebrospinal fluid albuminocytologic dissociation. Our findings are further evidence of a facial variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome and provide important information essential for its diagnosis.


Facial diplegia Guillain-Barré syndrome Cytomegalovirus 



We thank Ms. Y. Tamura and M. Okazaki (Department of Neurology, Dokkyo Medical University, Tochigi, Japan) for their technical assistance.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors report no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyDokkyo Medical UniversityTochigiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Disease Control and Molecular EpidemiologyHealth Sciences University of HokkaidoHokkaidoJapan
  3. 3.Department of NeuroscienceBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Neurology and Clinical NeuroscienceYamaguchi University Graduate School of MedicineUbeJapan
  5. 5.Departments of Neurology and Clinical ResearchNiigata National HospitalKashiwazaki, NiigataJapan

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