Objective: The goal of this study was to analyze the reasons for delayed diagnosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS). Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of all adult patients with GBS treated at Shamir Medical Center (SMC) from 2006 to 2018. We divided the patients into two groups: those with early initiation of treatment (within 24 h of arrival to ED), and those with later initiation of treatment (>24 h after arrival). We extracted epidemiological and clinical data regarding those groups, and compared them. Results: 100 patients with GBS were treated between 2006 and 2018 at SMC. 50 patients were treated within 24 h of arrival, and in 50 - treatment was initiated later. Of those with delayed treatment, 9 had mild disease, but did receive a working diagnosis of GBS. 41 patients were not diagnosed initially as a clear-cut GBS, and alternative diagnoses were considered, the most common were orthopedic (11/41), vascular (7/41) or nutritional deficiency (6\41). Findings that increased the likelihood for alternative diagnoses to be considered first were severe limb or back pain (26/41); intact or brisk reflexes (17/41); and an atypical pattern of weakness (7\41). Conclusions: GBS is a challenging diagnosis. Acknowledging the heterogeneity of its presentation and knowing its pitfalls is crucial for the prompt and accurate diagnosis of the disease.
- Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- Delayed diagnosis
- IVIG treatment