Advertisement

Why is a spinal tab used to diagnose Guillain-Barre syndrome?

A spinal tap is conducted if the doctor suspects Guillain-Barre syndrome. Examining the cerebrospinal fluid allows the doctor to look for the presence of high protein levels. Inflammatory cells, sometimes found in spinal fluid would indicate that the symptoms are not from Guillain-Barre syndrome. A spinal tap, although potentially painful, takes about 15 minutes and can lead to a confirmation of or negative result for Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Spinal tap (aka lumbar puncture) is used to examine the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to exclude other types of infections and inflammation which can cause symptoms similar to Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS).  In addition, a finding of elevated protein and normal number of white blood cells in the CSF is strongly supportive of a diagnosis of GBS.

Continue Learning about Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)

What is the prognosis for someone with Guillain-Barre syndrome?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
The lasting effects of Guillain-Barre syndrome vary widely. For some the symptoms resolve within wee...
More Answers
How long does Guillain-Barre syndrome usually last?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Guillain-Barre syndrome, an acute disease that can be triggered from various types of infections, ca...
More Answers
Should I talk to my doctor about Guillain-Barre syndrome?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
If you experience any of the symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome, you should call your doctor. Tingl...
More Answers
What is Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)?
NewYork-Presbyterian HospitalNewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is an acute autoimmune disease usually triggered by a recent, uncompli...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.