OBJECTIVE: To compare disease course in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) with a poor prognosis who were treated with one or with two intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) courses.
METHODS: From the International GBS Outcome Study, we selected patients whose modified Erasmus GBS Outcome Score at week 1 predicted a poor prognosis. We compared those treated with one IVIg course to those treated with two IVIg courses. The primary endpoint, the GBS disability scale at 4 weeks, was assessed with multivariable ordinal regression.
RESULTS: Of 237 eligible patients, 199 patients received a single IVIg course. Twenty patients received an 'early' second IVIg course (1-2 weeks after start of the first IVIg course) and 18 patients a 'late' second IVIg course (2-4 weeks after start of IVIg). At baseline and 1 week, those receiving two IVIg courses were more disabled than those receiving one course. Compared with the one course group, the adjusted OR for a better GBS disability score at 4 weeks was 0.70 (95%CI 0.16 to 3.04) for the early group and 0.66 (95%CI 0.18 to 2.50) for the late group. The secondary endpoints were not in favour of a second IVIg course.
CONCLUSIONS: This observational study did not show better outcomes after a second IVIg course in GBS with poor prognosis. The study was limited by small numbers and baseline imbalances. Lack of improvement was likely an incentive to start a second IVIg course. A prospective randomised trial is needed to evaluate whether a second IVIg course improves outcome in GBS.
This study is mainly funded by Grifols. Other sponsors of IGOS are GBSCIDP Foundation International, GAIN Charity, Erasmus University Medical Centre,
Glasgow University, CSL Behring and Annexon.
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