- Friday, January 1, 1999
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome among Palestinian Children Clinical Aspect and Outcome
- Published at:Bulletin of Palestinian Child Society 1999; 4:2-12.
Objective: Evaluation of the incidence and clinical characteristics of GBS in pediatric age. The disease actually represents the major cause of acute flaccid paralysis in healthy people. Populations and Methods: We reviewed the hospital records of 33 patients who were admitted to Makassed Hospital with the diagnosis of GBS from January 1986 until December 1994. Two patients whose clinical signs and symptoms did not fulfill the criteria were excluded from the study. Mean age was 5 years and 3 months (SD=3years, range 1-14 years), and most of patients (45%) were between 4-6 years. Males were affected slightly more than females 1.4:1. The initial signs of illness started 5 days prior to hospitalization. Seasonal predilection was prominent as more than 77% of patients were seen in winter and spring possibly reflecting seasonal peaks of triggering factors (48% of patients had a viral upper respiratory tract infection two weeks earlier, HBS antigen was positive in (10%), no family history or occupational factors, no history of gastroenteritis or recent vaccination were reported, research for polio virus was negative in all cases).Ten patients(30%) developed severe respiratory distress which required mechanical ventilation. Three patients died (10%). Discussion: Available data on the epidemiology of GBS rate of 0.6-1.9 cases per 100,000 populations per year, with an average of 0.5 to 1.0, which is considered roughly the same throughout the world, all age group, included. This series is relatively important knowing that the population served by this department was 540.000 in 1986 and around 800.000 by the end of the study in 1994. Children under 15 years represent 50% of the designed population (Ramallah, East Jerusalem, Jericho, Bethlehem and Hebron districts). During the study period 3 other cases were not hospitalized as diagnosed late and remained stable and about 15 other cases without respiratory distress were kept in other facilities. The annual incidence rate is estimated for the studied period at least to be 1 in 100,000 for the age group of under 15 years which can be considered high for the pediatric age group in this community. Further studies are indicated to confirm these data.