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VOLUME 20 , ISSUE 4 ( 2016 ) > List of Articles


The devil is in the detail: Acute Guillain-Barré syndrome camouflaged as neurosarcoidosis in a critically ill patient admitted to an Intensive Care Unit

Krishnaswamy Sundararajan, Pooja Prathapan Sarada

Keywords : Diagnosis, Guillain-Barrι syndrome, neurosarcoidosis

Citation Information : Sundararajan K, Sarada PP. The devil is in the detail: Acute Guillain-Barré syndrome camouflaged as neurosarcoidosis in a critically ill patient admitted to an Intensive Care Unit. Indian J Crit Care Med 2016; 20 (4):238-241.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.180045

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-10-2013

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2016; The Author(s).


Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an acute demyelinating polyneuropathy, usually evoked by antecedent infection. Sarcoidosis is a multisystem chronic granulomatous disorder with neurological involvement occurring in a minority. We present a case of a 43-year-old Caucasian man who presented with acute ascending polyradiculoneuropathy with a recent diagnosis of pulmonary sarcoidosis. The absence of acute flaccid paralysis excluded a clinical diagnosis of GBS in the first instance. Subsequently, a rapid onset of proximal weakness with multi-organ failure led to the diagnosis of GBS, which necessitated intravenous immunoglobulin and plasmapheresis to which the patient responded adequately, and he was subsequently discharged home. Neurosarcoidosis often masquerades as other disorders, leading to a diagnostic dilemma; also, the occurrence of a GBS-like clinical phenotype secondary to neurosarcoidosis may make diagnosing coexisting GBS a therapeutic challenge. This article not only serves to exemplify the rare association of neurosarcoidosis with GBS but also highlights the need for a high index of clinical suspicion for GBS and accurate history taking in any patient who may present with rapidly progressing weakness to an Intensive Care Unit.

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