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Table 1 Diagnostic criteria for Bickerstaff’s brainstem encephalitis (BBE), Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS) and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)

From: Bickerstaff’s brainstem encephalitis, Miller Fisher syndrome and Guillain-Barré syndrome overlap in an asthma patient with negative anti-ganglioside antibodies

Disorder Featured characteristics Supportive evidence
BBE Acute ophthalmoplegia, ataxia, disturbed consc-iousness or hypereflexia Abnormal lesions on brain MRI; EEG showing abnormal slow-wave activity; anti-GQ1b IgG antibody in serum; Albuminocytological dissociation in the CSF
MFS Acute ophthalmoplegia, ataxia and areflexia Albuminocytological dissociation in the CSF; anti-GQ1b IgG antibody in serum
GBS Acute symmetrical limb weakness and areflexia Albuminocytological dissociation in the CSF; relatively mild sensory loss; cranial neuropathy; EMG showing demyelination or axonal damage in peripheral nerves and spinal roots
  1. CSF cerebrospinal fluid; MRI magnetic resonance imaging; EMG electromyogram; EEG electroencephalogram.