Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 18976323
Acta Neurol. Scand. 2009 Jun;119(6):364-70
OBJECTIVE: Swallowing impairment may worsen respiratory weakness and conduct to respiratory complications such as aspiration pneumonia in Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). We prospectively evaluate how tongue weakness could be associated to bulbar dysfunction and respiratory weakness in severe GBS patients.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Tongue strength, dysphagia and respiratory parameters were measured in 16 GBS patients at intensive care unit (ICU) admission and discharge and in seven controls. Tongue strength was decreased in the GBS patients compared with the controls. At admission, patients with dysphagia and those requiring mechanical ventilation (MV) had greater tongue weakness. All the patients with initial tongue strength <150 g required MV during ICU stay. Tongue strength correlated significantly with respiratory parameters.
CONCLUSION: This study confirms the strong association between bulbar and respiratory dysfunction in GBS admitted to ICU. Tongue weakness may be present in GBS, especially during the phase of increasing paralysis, and resolves during the recovery phase. Tongue strength and indices of global and respiratory strength vary in parallel throughout the course of GBS. Further studies are needed to assess if, when used in combination with other respiratory tests, tongue strength measurement could contribute to identify patients at high risk for respiratory complications.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18976323