Clinical Case Database / Category: Patient Management
Differentiating cervical cord compression from Guillain-Barre syndrome
C Johnston, P Crawford
Foundation Years Journal, volume 7, issue 7, p.10 (123Doc Education, London, July 2013)
This article gives a brief history of a case of weakness and sensory disturbance, involving all four limbs, presenting to the medical admissions unit. This is followed by a discussion about which symptoms and signs can help to identify cervical cord pathology or a polyradiculopathy such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). In particular, the features that may indicate an acute spinal cord compression requiring emergency management are highlighted.
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1. Fuller G. Neurological Examination Made Easy, 4th edn. London UK: Churchill Livingston 2008.
2. Walters R, Wills A, Smith P. Specialist Training in Neurology, 1st edn. London UK: Mosby Elsevier 2007.
3. Malanga GA, Landes P and Nadler SF. Provocative tests in cervical spine examination: historical basis and scientific analyses. Pain Physician 2003, 6:199-205.
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About the Clinical Cases Database
The Foundation Years Clinical Cases Database is a selection of 600 peer-reviewed clinical cases in the field of patient safety and clinical practice, specifically focused on the clinical information needs of junior doctors, based around the Foundation Year Curriculum programme (MMC). The cases have been chosen to align with the Foundation Year Curriculum.
The database is fully searchable, or can be browsed by medical specialty. Abstracts can be read free of charge, however a subscription is required in order to read the complete cases.