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Cerebrospinal fluid total protein in Guillain–Barré syndrome variants: correlations with clinical category, severity, and electrophysiology

  • Pierre R. BourqueEmail author
  • J. Brooks
  • J. Warman-Chardon
  • A. Breiner
Original Communication

Abstract

The discriminative value of CSF total protein (CSF-TP) in subtypes of Guillain–Barré syndrome has not been well documented in North-American patients. We reviewed 173 cases from a single institution, comprising the following clinical categories of neuropathy: 134 Sensorimotor (SM) GBS, 13 Motor (M) GBS, 8 Localized (L) GBS, and 18 Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS). We grouped the electrophysiological interpretation in primarily demyelinating, primarily axonal and normal / equivocal categories. Mean CSF-TP were substantially higher for SM and L-GBS, as well as cases classified as Acute-onset chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. They were lower for M-GBS and L-GBS. The most statistically significant correlation was found for elevated CSF-TP in GBS cases showing an electrophysiologic pattern classified as demyelinating (1.56 g/L) compared with axonal (0.68 g/L) or normal/ equivocal patterns (0.65 g/L). There was a correlation between CSF-TP and time interval between symptom onset and lumbar puncture. There was a weak correlation between CSF-TP and maximal overall-clinical severity grade, which was likely mostly determined by the electorphysiological pattern. Though CSF-TP is a sensitive test for GBS in the second week after onset, it may not be a reliable predictor of clinical severity. There is a robust association of CSF-TP elevation and a demyelinative electrophysiologic pattern and a suggestion that lower mean CSF-TP values can be expected in GBS-spectrum disorders thought to represent nodo-paranodopathies.

Keywords

Guillain–Barre syndrome Cerebrospinal fluid protein Albuminocytologic dissociation Immune neuropathy 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors of this manuscript have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Ethical standard

This study was approved by the Institutional Ethics (Medical Research) Committee.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ottawa Hospital, University of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.The Ottawa Hospital Research InstituteOttawaCanada

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