A prospective study of Guillain-Barré syndrome from January 1992 to December 2001 was undertaken. Intravenous immunoglobulins were used in all patients. All patients were followed up until complete recovery. Various parameters, such as onset of weakness, duration of hospital stay, ventilation requirement, residual deficit, and mortality, were recorded. Acute relapses and fluctuations were also noted. The pattern of this group was compared with patients before 1992, who were not given intravenous immunoglobulins in the Sultanate of Oman. Our data were compared with a few studies prior to 1992 from the medical literature. Our study revealed a definite benefit with intravenous immunoglobulins. The disease course and hospital stay were shortened. Fewer patients needed ventilation. There was no mortality, and the residual deficit was less than 5%. Occasional relapses at a later stage in the course of illness have been noted in acute Guillain-Barré syndrome. However, acute relapse, a new phenomenon that was not seen in the pre-intravenous immunoglobulin era, stood at 11.9%. Intravenous immunoglobulins have made a significant difference in the outcome of Guillain-Barré syndrome, but one has to be aware of acute relapses, which usually occur in the first 2 to 3 weeks after administration.
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