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01.08.2011 | Research | Ausgabe 4/2011 Open Access

Critical Care 4/2011

Comparison of intravenous immunoglobulin and plasma exchange in treatment of mechanically ventilated children with Guillain Barré syndrome: a randomized study

Critical Care > Ausgabe 4/2011
Mohammed A El-Bayoumi, Ahmed M El-Refaey, Alaa M Abdelkader, Mohamed MA El-Assmy, Angi A Alwakeel, Hanem M El-Tahan
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

MAE formulated the research idea, designed the plan, performed statistical analysis and proofread the draft. AME co-designed the plan and supervised the plasma exchange making sure of uniformity of the procedure in all studied subjects and proofread the draft. AMA followed up patients on PICU, made sure the plan was followed, and helped MAE in performing statistical analysis. ME followed up patients on PICU, drafted the manuscript, and designed statistical methodology. AAA co-formulated the research idea, co-designed the plan, followed up patients on PICU, and generated and was responsible for the random assignment of the groups. HME followed up patients on PICU, co-drafted the manuscript with ME and made sure PICU management of patients complied with the unit guidelines. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Respiratory failure is a life threatening complication of Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS). There is no consensus on the specific treatment for this subset of children with GBS.


This was a prospective randomized study to compare the outcome of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and plasma exchange (PE) treatment in children with GBS requiring mechanical ventilation. Forty-one children with GBS requiring endotracheal mechanical ventilation (MV) within 14 days from disease onset were included. The ages of the children ranged from 49 to 143 months.
Randomly, 20 children received a five-day course of IVIG (0.4 g/kg/day) and 21 children received a five-day course of one volume PE daily. Lumbar puncture (LP) was performed in 36 patients (18 in each group).


Both groups had comparable age (p = 0.764), weight (p = 0.764), duration of illness prior to MV (p = 0.854), preceding diarrhea (p = 0.751), cranial nerve involvement (p = 0.756), muscle power using Medical Research Council (MRC) sum score (p = 0.266) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) protein (p = 0.606).
Children in the PE group had a shorter period of MV (median 11 days, IQR 11.0 to 13.0) compared to IVIG group (median 13 days, IQR 11.3 to 14.5) with p = 0.037.
Those in the PE group had a tendency for a shorter Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) stay (p = 0.094).
A total of 20/21 (95.2%) and 18/20 (90%) children in the PE and IVIG groups respectively could walk unaided within four weeks after PICU discharge (p = 0.606).
There was a negative correlation between CSF protein and duration of mechanical ventilation in the PE group (p = 0.037), but not in the IVIG group (p = 0.132).


In children with GBS requiring MV, PE is superior to IVIG regarding the duration of MV but not PICU stay or the short term neurological outcome.
The negative correlation between CSF protein values and duration of MV in PE group requires further evaluation of its clinical usefulness.

Trial Registration Identifier NCT01306578
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