Second intravenous immunoglobulin dose in patients with Guillain-Barre syndrome with poor prognosis (SID-GBS): a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial

Dutch GBS Study Grp, Christa Walgaard, Bart C. Jacobs, Hester F. Lingsma, Ewout W. Steyerberg, Bianca van den Berg, Alexandra Y. Doets, Sonja E. Leonhard, Christine Verboon, Ruth Huizinga, Judith Drenthen, Samuel Arends, Ilona Kleine Budde, Ruud P. Kleyweg, Krista Kuitwaard, Marjon F. G. van der Meulen, Johnny P. A. Samijn, Frederique H. Vermeij, Jan B. M. Kuks, Gert W. van DijkPaul W. Wirtz, Filip Eftimov, Anneke J. van der Kooi, Marcel P. J. Garssen, Cees J. Gijsbers, Maarten C. de Rijk, Leo H. Visser, Roderik J. Blom, Wim H. J. P. Linssen, Elly L. van der Kooi, Jan J. G. M. Verschuuren, Rinske van Koningsveld, Rita J. G. Dieks, H. Job Gilhuis, Korne Jellema, Taco C. van der Ree, Henriette M. E. Bienfait, Catharina G. Faber, Harry Lovenich, Baziel G. M. van Engelen, Rutger J. Groen, Ingemar S. J. Merkies, Bob W. van Oosten, W. Ludo van der Pol, Willem D. M. van der Meulen, Umesh A. Badrising, Martijn Stevens, Albert-Jan J. Breukelman, Casper P. Zwetsloot, Maaike M. van der Graaff, Marielle Wohlgemuth

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)
    256 Downloads (Pure)


    Background Treatment with one standard dose (2 g/kg) of intravenous immunoglobulin is insufficient in a proportion of patients with severe Guillain-Barre syndrome. Worldwide, around 25% of patients severely affected with the syndrome are given a second intravenous immunoglobulin dose (SID), although it has not been proven effective. We aimed to investigate whether a SID is effective in patients with Guillain-Barre syndrome with a predicted poor outcome.

    Methods In this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (SID-GBS), we included patients (>= 12 years) with Guillain-Barre syndrome admitted to one of 59 participating hospitals in the Netherlands. Patients were included on the first day of standard intravenous immunoglobulin treatment (2 g/kg over 5 days). Only patients with a poor prognosis (score of >= 6) according to the modified Erasmus Guillain-Barre syndrome Outcome Score were randomly assigned, via block randomisation stratified by centre, to SID (2 g/kg over 5 days) or to placebo, 7-9 days after inclusion. Patients, outcome adjudicators, monitors, and the steering committee were masked to treatment allocation. The primary outcome measure was the Guillain-Barre syndrome disability score 4 weeks after inclusion. All patients in whom allocated trial medication was started were included in the modified intention-to-treat analysis.

    Findings Between Feb 16, 2010, and June 5, 2018, 327 of 339 patients assessed for eligibility were included. 112 had a poor prognosis. Of those, 93 patients with a poor prognosis were included in the modified intention-to-treat analysis: 49 (53%) received SID and 44 (47%) received placebo. The adjusted common odds ratio for improvement on the Guillain-Barre syndrome disability score at 4 weeks was 1.4 (95% CI 0.6-3.3; p=0.45). Patients given SID had more serious adverse events (35% vs 16% in the first 30 days), including thromboembolic events, than those in the placebo group. Four patients died in the intervention group (13-24 weeks after randomisation).

    Interpretation Our study does not provide evidence that patients with Guillain-Barre syndrome with a poor prognosis benefit from a second intravenous immunoglobulin course; moreover, it entails a risk of serious adverse events. Therefore, a second intravenous immunoglobulin course should not be considered for treatment of Guillain-Barre syndrome because of a poor prognosis. The results indicate the need for treatment trials with other immune modulators in patients severely affected by Guillain-Barre syndrome. Funding Prinses Beatrix Spierfonds and Sanquin Plasma Products. Copyright (C) 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)275-283
    Number of pages9
    JournalLancet Neurology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr-2021

    Cite this