We performed a multicenter prospective study on the incidence and prognosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) in the Emilia-Romagna region (3,909,512 inhabitants), Italy, over a 2-year period (1992-1993). The case finding method was based on a surveillance system including neurologic departments, all private and public general hospitals, and all practicing neurologists. We also reviewed all the ICD codes of hospital discharges. Ninety-four patients with GBS were identified, giving a mean incidence rate of 1.20 per 100,900 per year. Men/women ratio was 1.94. Incidence rate increased with age for both sexes. There were no significant incidence variations among seasons or months. Antecedent infections were reported in 59% of the patients. There was an overall good prognosis. After 6 months, 64% of patients had recovered and only 4% was still severely disabled. Acute mortality was 3%. Older age was the strongest predictor of poor outcome.
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