The role of immunotherapy in Guillain-Barré syndrome: understanding the mechanism of action

Shahrizaila, N.; Yuki, N. (2011) The role of immunotherapy in Guillain-Barré syndrome: understanding the mechanism of action. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, 12 (10). ISSN 14656566

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Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is the most frequent cause of acute flaccid paralysis and, despite treatment, there continues to be an associated mortality and severe disability ranging from 9 to 17%. This article reviews the rationale behind the existing immunotherapy in GBS and discusses the future direction that work in this area should follow. AREAS COVERED: The pathogenesis of GBS and the current evidence for the different forms of immunotherapy in GBS are reviewed. The proposed mechanism of action of each treatment--(steroids, plasma exchange and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG))--in GBS are discussed. EXPERT OPINION: Both plasma exchange and IVIG are equally effective in GBS although the latter is preferred in view of its ease of access and lower rates of complications. Although not clinically established, there may be a role for the concomitant use of steroids with IVIG and, in patients with severe disease and poor prognostic scores, plasma exchange followed by IVIG or two successive IVIG may prove beneficial.

Item Type: Article
  1. Shahrizaila, N.(University of Malaya)
  2. Yuki, N.(University of Malaya)
Journal or Publication Title: Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Additional Information: University of Malaya, Faculty of Medicine, Lembah Pantai, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Uncontrolled Keywords: Guillain-Barré syndrome
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Mr. Faizal Hamzah
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2011 15:11
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 17:09

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