Publication Details

Title :

Prevalence and outcomes of Guillain-Barré syndrome among pediatrics in Saudi Arabia: a 10-year retrospective study


Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat.

Impact Factor:



Asiri S1, Altwaijri WA1,2, Ba-Armah D1, Al Rumayyan A1,2, Alrifai MT1,2, Salam M3, Almutairi AF3.


1 Pediatric Neurology, Pediatric Department, King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital, Ministry of National Guard-Health Affairs (MNGHA), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

2 College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

3 Science and Technology Unit, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,

Year of Publication:






Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a progressive acute form of paralysis most probably secondary to an immune-mediated process. GBS among Saudis has been seldom investigated, which leaves both clinicians and researchers with scarcity in knowledge. Therefore, this study aims to assess the prevalence and clinical prognosis of GBS among pediatrics admitted with acute paralysis at a large healthcare facility in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


This retrospective study reviewed patients’ medical records between 2005 and 2015. Eligible cases were children (<14 years old) admitted to the hospital complaining of acute paralysis and later diagnosed with one form or variant of GBS. Pearson’s chi-square, Fisher’s exact test, and binary logistic regression were employed to analyze the collected data.


The prevalence of GBS was 49%. The male-to-female ratio was 1.45:1. The mean ± standard deviation age was 7±3.7 years. There were 34 (69.4%) cases with progression to maximum paralysis in ≤2 weeks, while 15 (30.6%) cases occurred beyond 2 weeks. Males (n=24, 82.8%) were more likely to endure progression to maximum paralysis in ≤2 weeks after the disease onset, compared to females (n=10, 50%), P=0.014. All cases complaining of respiratory problems exhibited a progression to maximum paralysis in ≤2 weeks, compared to those with no respiratory problems, P=0.027. Residual paralysis at 60 days post disease onset was highly associated with GBS patients of age 8-14 years (n=15, 65.2%), compared to younger patients (n=8, 30.8%), P=0.016. Patients admitted in colder seasons (n=14, 63.6%) were more likely to suffer residual paralysis too, compared to those in warmer seasons (n=9, 33.3%), P=0.035. GBS cases who complained of facial weakness (n=9, 75%) and ocular abnormalities (n=10, 71.4%) were also more likely to endure residual paralysis at 60 days post disease onset, P=0.025 and P=0.03, respectively.


Male gender could be a determinant of rapid progression to maximum paralysis, while the older age group in pediatrics is expected to endure residual paralysis at 60 days post disease onset. GBS can be accounted as a rare disease, especially in pediatrics, so confirmed cases should be investigated comprehensively for research purposes.