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Guillain-Barre Syndrome: Management and Treatment Options for Patients With Moderate to Severe Progression

Bowyer, Holly R.; Glover, Melissa

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: October 2010 - Volume 42 - Issue 5 - p 288-293
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0b013e3181ecafa9

Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is a syndrome that affects the immune system and attacks the peripheral nervous system. Discussion includes defining GBS as well as its etiology and differential diagnosis. Patients with GBS are not uncommon, and therefore it is important to be educated and to have a more precise understanding. GBS patients need to be treated holistically through emotional and physical support and known effective treatments. Through this article, readers will be able to achieve a thorough understanding of GBS and management options/strategies. Clinical features and manifestation of presenting symptoms will assist in determining initial laboratory studies, imaging, and any other testing that should be performed. Proper and quick diagnosis of GBS will be critical to further optimize treatment options and to decrease the likelihood of further immediate progression. Treatment modalities will be discussed as well as management during the acute hospital course and after discharge from the acute care facility. Discussion will focus on moderate to severe cases and associating treatment plans evaluated from evidence-based practice.

Melissa Glover, MBA BSN RN CEN PHRN, is an administrative supervisor at Physicians Regional Medical Center, Naples, FL.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Holly R. Bowyer, MSN ACNP-BC, at She is a certified registered nurse practitioner at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA.

© 2010 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses