Acute "axonal" Guillain-Barré syndrome in childhood.Muscle Nerve. 1993 Dec; 16(12):1310-6.MN
We identified 5 of 44 consecutive children (11%) with Guillain-Barré syndrome who had electrophysiologic evidence of severe reduction of the mean amplitude of the compound motor action potentials (mean CMAP amplitude < 10% of lower limit of normal). EMG studies revealed profuse fibrillation activity in distal and proximal muscles after 2 weeks of onset. We compared this group with 16 consecutive children with GBS prospectively evaluated over 1 year, all of whom presented a mean CMAP amplitude > 10% of lower limit of normal. Children in the first group were more likely to require assisted ventilation (60% vs. 6.2%) and were more frequently quadriplegic at the peak of their disability (80% vs. 18.7%). They also required longer periods to improve one functional grade (mean 63.6 days vs. 16.6 days) and to become ambulatory (mean 156 days vs. 17.6 days). Moreover, only the children in the first group had distal atrophy of four limbs after 1 year of follow-up. Severe reduction of the mean amplitude of the CMAPs in children with GBS identifies a subgroup of patients with axonal damage that produces more severe weakness and delayed recovery.