Guillain-Barre syndrome in patients with coronavirus disease-2019: Report of six cases and review of literature

  • Ali Asghar Okhovat
  • Behnaz Ansari
  • Helia Hemasian
  • Bahram Haghi-Ashtiani
  • Soroor Advani
  • Bentolhoda Ziaadini
  • Siamak Abdi
  • Hajir Sikaroudi
  • Shahriar Nafissi
  • Farzad Fatehi
Keywords: Guillain-Barre Syndrome; COVID-19; Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2; Polyneuropathies


Background: Few studies have reported the association of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infection. In this study, we reported GBS in six patients infected with COVID-19 and reviewed all existing literature about GBS in association with COVID-19.

Methods: This study was performed in three referral centers of COVID-19 in Iran, and six patients with the diagnosis of GBS were enrolled. Patients enrolled in the study with acute progressive weakness according to the demyelinating or axonal variant of GBS, according to Uncini's criteria.

Results: Four of our patients had axonal polyneuropathy, two patients had demyelinating polyneuropathy, and one patient required mechanical ventilation. All our patients had a favorable response to treatment. In one patient, the GBS symptoms recurred four months after the first episode.

Conclusion: Limited case reports suggest a possible association between GBS and COVID-19. Such associations may be an incidental concurrence or a real cause-and-effect linkage; however, more patients with epidemiological studies are necessary to support a causal relationship.