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October 1950

POLYNEURITIS: Complete Pharyngeal and Respiratory Paralysis with Recovery

Author Affiliations


AMA Arch Intern Med. 1950;86(4):574-577. doi:10.1001/archinte.1950.00230160086007

Among the neurologic disorders classified as "polyneuritis" are those falling into a rather large group which is most commonly referred to as the Guillain-Barré syndrome. Guillain and his associates first published their observations in 1916.1 Since that time numerous reports of similar illnesses have been published under a wide variety of names. A partial list includes: myeloradiculitis,2 acute infective polyneuritis,3 infective neuronitis,4 acute febrile polyneuritis,5 acute encephalomyeloradiculoneuritis6 and polyradiculoneuritis.7 As a group they are distinguished by their involvement of the peripheral nerves and excellent prognosis. Confusion in terminology has existed because of the failure to demonstrate a single etiologic agent and because of the lack of agreement concerning the existence of definitive syndromes among the group. Hand and Rudoy8 were of the belief that the Guillain-Barré syndrome is a clinical entity in which albuminocytologic dissociation in the spinal fluid is characteristically observed. Although the variety of names