Guillain-Barre Syndrome Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Jan 14, 2022
  • 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 [107]

  • 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