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Editorials
February 15, 1964

POSTURAL HYPOTENSION IN THE GUILLAIN-BARRÉ SYNDROME

JAMA. 1964;187(7):532. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060200064018
Abstract

Despite numerous clinical studies on postural hypotension associated with nervous-system diseases, there have been few investigations correlating postural hypotension with pathological findings.

Such a correlation is reported by Birchfield and Shaw in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology,1 in a communication describing the occurrence of postural hypotension in postinfectious polyradiculitis, the Guillain-Barré syndrome. Although it has been suspected that many circulatory vagaries of the syndrome are caused by autonomic dysfunction, there has been little proof of the existence of such dysfunction. The finding of postural hypotension in three of six cases observed by these investigators suggests that autonomic dysfunction may occur more frequently than is generally recognized.

In the reported cases, postural hypotension appeared early in the disease; in one case it preceded the usual signs of polvneuropathy. Fainting upon standing was the usual presenting symptom of the hypotension, which was subsequently confirmed by blood-pressure readings taken

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