Publications & Posters

Serum neurofilament light chain predicts long-term prognosis in Guillain-Barré syndrome patients

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry | November 5, 2020

Martín-Aguilar L, Camps-Renom P, Lleixà C, Pascual-Goñi E, Díaz-Manera J, Rojas-García R, De Luna N, Gallardo E, Cortés-Vicente E, Muñoz L, Alcolea D, Lleó A, Casasnovas C, Homedes C, Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez G, Jimeno-Montero MC, Berciano J, Sedano-Tous MJ, García-Sobrino T, Pardo-Fernández J, Márquez-Infante C, Rojas-Marcos I, Jericó-Pascual I, Martínez-Hernández E, Morís de la Tassa G, Domínguez-González C, Illa I and Querol L

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2021;92:70-77.

DOI: 10.1136/jnnp-2020-324308


Objective To study baseline serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) levels as a prognostic biomarker in Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).

Methods We measured NfL in serum (98 samples) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (24 samples) of patients with GBS prospectively included in the International GBS Outcome Study (IGOS) in Spain using single-molecule array (SiMoA) and compared them with 53 healthy controls (HCs). We performed multivariable regression to analyse the association between sNfL levels and functional outcome at 1 year.

Results Patients with GBS had higher NfL levels than HC in serum (55.49 pg/mL vs 9.83 pg/mL, p<0.0001) and CSF (1308.5 pg/mL vs 440.24 pg/mL, p=0.034). Patients with preceding diarrhoea had higher sNfL than patients with respiratory symptoms or no preceding infection (134.90 pg/mL vs 47.86 pg/mL vs 38.02 pg/mL, p=0.016). sNfL levels correlated with Guillain-Barré Syndrome Disability Score and Inflammatory Rasch-built Overall Disability Scale (I-RODS) at every timepoint. Patients with pure motor variant and Miller Fisher syndrome showed higher sNfL levels than patients with sensorimotor GBS (162.18 pg/mL vs 95.50 pg/mL vs 38.02 pg/mL, p=0.025). Patients with acute motor axonal neuropathy cute motor axonal neuropathy had higher sNfL levels than other variants (190.55 pg/mL vs 46.79 pg/mL, p=0.013). sNfL returned to normal levels at 1 year. High baseline sNfL levels were associated with inability to run (OR=1.65, 95% CI 1.14 to 2.40, p=0.009) and lower I-RODS (β −2.60, 95% CI −4.66 to −0.54, p=0.014) at 1 year. Cut-off points predicting clinically relevant outcomes at 1 year with high specificity were calculated: inability to walk independently (>319 pg/mL), inability to run (>248 pg/mL) and ability to run (<34 pg/mL).

Conclusion Baseline sNfL levels are increased in patients with GBS, are associated with disease severity and axonal variants and have an independent prognostic value in patients with GBS.