Plasma exchange became popular in the treatment of Guillain-Barré syndrome with the publication in 1985 of results by the Guillain-Barré Study Group. Since then we have treated 24 patients referred for plasma exchange. We have audited their outcome and compared this with the results of patients in the treatment arm of the USA Study. Our patients were of comparable age and clinical severity and had similar duration of illness before starting plasma exchange. Nine of our patients required ventilation for a median of 24 days. The median time to improve one clinical grade was 19 days which compared well with the Study Group results. We have shown that plasma exchange may be safely performed in a district general hospital in a setting appropriate to the patient's clinical condition. We concur with the central conclusion of the Study, that if treatment is started early in the disease, the patient's outcome is improved.
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