Acute-onset polyradiculoneuropathy after SARS-CoV2 vaccine in the West and North Midlands, United Kingdom

U.K, 16 November 2021, Loo et al, Muscle and Nerve


We retrospectively reviewed records of all persons presenting with acute-onset polyradiculoneuropathy from January 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021, admitted to two Neuroscience centers, of the West and North Midlands, United Kingdom. We compared subjects with previous SARS-CoV2 vaccine exposure with a local cohort of persons with acute-onset polyradiculoneuropathy admitted between 2005 and 2019 and compared admission numbers for the studied time frame with that of the previous 3 years.

Of 24 persons with acute-onset polyradiculoneuropathy, 16 (66.7%) presented within 4  weeks after first SARS-CoV2 vaccine. Fourteen had received the AstraZeneca vaccine and one each, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The final diagnosis was Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in 12 and acute-onset chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy in 4. Among AstraZeneca vaccine recipients, facial weakness in nine persons (64.3%), bulbar weakness in seven (50%), and the bifacial weakness and distal paresthesias GBS variant in three (21.4%), were more common than in historical controls (P = .01; P = .004, and P = .002, respectively). A 2.6-fold (95% confidence interval: 1.98–3.51) increase in admissions for acute-onset polyradiculoneuropathy was noted during the studied time frame, compared to the same period in the previous 3 years.

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