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In the most favourable cases of Guillain Barre syndrome, the patient is likely to recover within 3 months. However:

  • mortality is about 8% (1)
  • 33% have not recovered after 12 months
  • of those in respiratory failure, 30% are disabled, 20% severely
  • 5% develop a chronic relapsing course
  • median time to complete functional recovery is 9 months
  • physical signs such as areflexia may persist in spite of a return to normal function


(1) Mol Pathol 2001 Dec;54(6):381-5 Guillain Barre syndrome. Winer JB.

(2) Winter et al., 'A prospective study of acute idiopathic neuropathy', J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry (1988); 51: 605-12.

Last reviewed 01/2018