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Acute urinary retention as the initial manifestation of Guillain-Barre syndrome

Department of Emergency Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan.
The American journal of emergency medicine (Impact Factor: 1.15). 07/2011; 29(6):696.e3-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2010.06.013
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Guillain-Barre syndrome is a leading cause of acute weakness in young and middle-aged people [1,2], but it can affect patients of all ages. The main features of Guillain-Barre syndrome are ascending limb weakness which is relatively symmetric and progresses rapidly, with or without involvement of respiratory or cranial nerve-innervated muscles. In typical cases, possible initial symptoms include pain, numbness, paraesthesia, or weakness of the limbs [3,4]. Guillain-Barre syndrome also has a significant mortality in the first month [5,6]; however, this condition is often initially misdiagnosed [7], because the initial symptoms are often nonspecific, and many clinical variants may present [8]. Therefore, it is mandatory to maintain a high index of suspicion for this disease so as to prompt early diagnosis and treatment. Herein, we reported a case of Guillain-Barre syndrome who rapidly progressed to respiratory failure with an initial presentation of only acute urinary retention.

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