Current address: Department of Neurology, Women's and Children's Hospital, North Adelaide, SA 5006, Australia.
Investigation of suspected Guillain–Barre syndrome in childhood: What is the role for gadolinium enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of the spine?
Article first published online: 7 JUL 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 50, Issue 10, pages E72–E76, October 2014
How to Cite
Smith, N., Pereira, J. and Grattan-Smith, P. (2014), Investigation of suspected Guillain–Barre syndrome in childhood: What is the role for gadolinium enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of the spine?. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 50: E72–E76. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01802.x
Conflict of Interest: Nil declared.
- Issue published online: 6 OCT 2014
- Article first published online: 7 JUL 2010
- Accepted for publication 13 January 2010.
- Guillain–Barre syndrome;
- magnetic resonance imaging;
Aim: To review the role of gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of the spine in the diagnosis of paediatric Guillain–Barre syndrome and compare it with nerve conduction studies and cerebrospinal fluid analysis.
Methods: A retrospective review of investigations undertaken in children admitted to our institution with acute Guillain–Barre syndrome over a 10-year period was performed.
Results: Seven of eight children (88%) displayed post-gadolinium nerve root enhancement consistent with Guillain–Barre syndrome. This compared with supportive nerve conduction studies in 21/24 children (88%) and cerebrospinal fluid protein analysis consistent with the diagnosis in 16/20 children (80%).
Conclusion: Nerve conduction studies are the recognised ‘gold standard’ technique for confirming a clinical diagnosis of Guillain–Barre syndrome. In this study, a high positive rate was demonstrated. While more experience is necessary, this study and the literature support gadolinium enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of the spine as a valuable, although not necessarily superior, investigation in the diagnosis of Guillain–Barre syndrome. It may be of particular benefit when specialist neurophysiology expertise is unavailable.