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Locked in from fulminant GBS after lumbar spine surgery


Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) describes a neurological syndrome characterised by acute, areflexic paralysis, often preceded by an immune stimulating event such as infection or surgery. Spinal surgery as an inciting event is very uncommon with few reported cases. When paraparesis develops in close proximity of surgery, surgical complications should be considered, but if an asymptomatic clinical interval precedes a progressive ascending weakness this association weakens and may support an immunological mechanism. GBS after lumbar surgery is wholly unexpected and thus there are significant challenges in recognising and making the diagnosis. We report a case of fulminant GBS that progressed to loss of all motor function following elective lumbar spine surgery.


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All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as online supplemental information.

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