J Clin Neurol.  2011 Mar;7(1):34-39. 10.3988/jcn.2011.7.1.34.

Visual Evoked Potentials in Guillain-Barre Syndrome

  • 1Department of Neurology, Ondokuz Mayis University School of Medicine, Samsun, Turkey. ligungor@omu.edu.tr
  • 2Department of Ophthalmology, Ondokuz Mayis University School of Medicine, Samsun, Turkey.


Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is an acute demyelinating polyneuropathy with various clinical features. Optic neuritis occurs in rare cases. In this study we determined the incidence and patterns of visual evoked potential (VEP) abnormality in GBS in association with ophthalmologic findings.
Thirty-two patients with a diagnosis of GBS were included in the study. The correlation between pathologic VEPs and categories of neurologic deficit and electrophysiological findings were examined statistically.
The patients ranged in age from 19 to 77 years. Five cases (16%) had abnormal VEPs. All five of these patients exhibited increased P100 latency differences between the two eyes. Other abnormalities were prolonged p100 latency, increased interocular amplitude difference, and distorted p100 configuration. Pathologic signs on ophthalmologic examination were observed in 80% of patients with abnormal VEPs. VEP abnormality was never present in pure axonal forms. There was no significant correlation between pathologic VEP and cerebrospinal fluid protein level or categories of neurologic deficits.
Involvement of the optic pathways is not a frequent finding in GBS. When present it is always asymmetric and generally accompanied with pathologic findings on ophthalmologic examination. VEPs may be abnormal in different clinical variants of GBS, and especially in demyelinating forms.


guillain-Barre syndrome; optic neuritis; visual evoked potentials
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