The objective of this study is to determine the long-term outcome and consequences of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in children. This is an observational cross-sectional cohort study of children diagnosed with GBS (0-18 years old) at the Sophia Children's Hospital in Rotterdam from 1987 to 2009. All patients were invited for a structured interview, questionnaires, and full neurologic exam to record their current clinical condition focused on complaints and symptoms, neurological deficits, disabilities, behavior, and quality of life. Thirty-seven patients participated, 23 were now adults, with a median age of 20 years (range 4-39 years) and a median follow-up time of 11 years (range 1-22 years). Residual complaints were reported by 24 (65%) patients, including paresthesias (38%), unsteadiness of gait in the dark (37%), painful hands or feet (24%), and severe fatigue (22%). Four patients had severe neurological deficits, including facial diplegia and limb weakness. Two patients had had a recurrence of GBS. In 10 patients (26%), GBS had a negative impact on their school career. Questionnaires identified a wide range of behavioral problems. Quality of life was below normal on the subscale vitality, and above normal on the subscales social functioning and positive emotions in the adult group. Most children show good recovery of neurological deficits after GBS, but many have persisting long-term residual complaints and symptoms that may lead to psychosocial problems interfering with participation in daily life.

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Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System
Department of Immunology

Roodbol, J., de Wit, M. C., Aarsen, F., Catsman-Berrevoets, C., & Jacobs, B. (2014). Long-term outcome of Guillain-Barré syndrome in children. Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System, 19(2), 121–126. doi:10.1111/jns5.12068