Since Guillain, Barré and Strohl1 described a peculiar form of polyneuritis coexisting with normal cell count and increased protein of the cerebrospinal fluid, considerable attention has been devoted, particularly in the pediatric literature, to the problem of differentiation between this type of polyneuritis and acute anterior poliomyelitis.
There appears to be a consensus that the two diseases are entirely distinct. However, from the etiologic point of view this contention lacks convincing evidence; in fact, the causative agent of the Guillain-Barré syndrome is still unknown; and, curiously, no attempts have been made to ascertain whether poliomyelitic virus can be isolated from patients affected with this type of polyneuritis. From a pathologic point of view, a distinction between the two conditions seems justified. In infectious polyneuritis the primary site of damage is in the peripheral nerves and spinal ganglions, in contradistinction to the involvement of the anterior horn in poliomyelitis. Pathologic
JERVIS GA, STRASSBURGER PJ. GUILLAIN-BARRÉ SYNDROME ("INFECTIOUS POLYNEURITIS") AND ACUTE ANTERIOR POLIOMYELITIS. Am J Dis Child. 1943;65(3):431-439. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1943.02010150079007