Guillain-Barre Syndrome Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Oct 06, 2017
  • Author: Michael T Andary, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Problems to consider in the differential diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) include the following:

  • Acute myelopathy (eg, from compression, transverse myelitis, vascular injury)
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Conversion disorder/hysterical paralysis
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) peripheral neuropathy
  • Neurotoxic fish or shellfish poisoning
  • Paraneoplastic neuropathy
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Porphyria polyneuropathy
  • Spinal cord compression
  • Spinal cord syndromes, particularly postinfection
  • Tick paralysis [95]
  • Toxic neuropathies (eg, arsenic, thallium, organophosphates, lead)
  • Vasculitic neuropathies
  • Vitamin deficiency (eg, vitamin B-12, folate, thiamine)
  • West Nile encephalitis
  • Bilateral strokes
  • Acute cerebellar ataxia syndromes
  • Posterior fossa structural lesion

Differential Diagnoses