Many patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) suffer from excessive fatigue. To assess whether this fatigue might be related to changes in slow-conducting nerve fibers, we determined the conduction velocity distribution (CVD) in the median nerve. Thirteen fatigued but neurologically well-recovered GBS patients, 2 fatigued and stable CIDP patients, and 19 healthy controls participated in this study. Conventional maximal nerve conduction velocities (NCVs) did not show differences between GBS patients and healthy controls. However, in both GBS and CIDP patients the CVD was altered, showing significant narrowing of the velocity distribution with loss of the fastest- and slowest-conducting fibers. These changes were most pronounced in the subgroup of patients with the lowest fatigue scores. We therefore conclude that the observed CVD changes in patients are not likely to contribute to persisting complaints of fatigue after GBS.

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Muscle & Nerve
Department of Neurology

Garssen, M., Blok, J., van Doorn, P., & Visser, G. H. (2006). Conduction velocity distribution in neurologically well-recovered but fatigued Guillain-Barré syndrome patients. Muscle & Nerve, 33(2), 177–182. doi:10.1002/mus.20451