METHODS: Albuminocytologic dissociation (ACD) was defined as an increased protein level (>0.45 g/L) in the absence of elevated white cell count (<50 cells/μL). We excluded 124 (8%) patients because of other diagnoses, protocol violation, or insufficient data. The CSF was examined in 1,231 patients (89%).
RESULTS: In 846 (70%) patients, CSF examination showed ACD, which increased with time from weakness onset: ≤4 days 57%, >4 days 84%. High CSF protein levels were associated with a demyelinating subtype, proximal or global muscle weakness, and a reduced likelihood of being able to run at week 2 (odds ratio [OR] 0.42, 95% CI 0.25-0.70; p = 0.001) and week 4 (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.27-0.72; p = 0.001). Patients with the Miller Fisher syndrome, distal predominant weakness, and normal or equivocal nerve conduction studies were more likely to have lower CSF protein levels. CSF cell count was <5 cells/μL in 1,005 patients (83%), 5-49 cells/μL in 200 patients (16%), and ≥50 cells/μL in 13 patients (1%).
DISCUSSION: ACD is a common finding in GBS, but normal protein levels do not exclude this diagnosis. High CSF protein level is associated with an early severe disease course and a demyelinating subtype. Elevated CSF cell count, rarely ≥50 cells/μL, is compatible with GBS after a thorough exclusion of alternative diagnoses.
CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class IV evidence that CSF ACD (defined by the Brighton Collaboration) is common in patients with GBS.
Please provide feedback to Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org)