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Miller Fisher's syndrome

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A disturbance thought to be a variant of the Guillain-Barré syndrome usually characterised by total external ophthalmoplegia, ataxia, and loss of tendon reflexes. Early symptoms include fever, headache, and pneumonia. They are followed by facial paralysis, diplopia, external ophthalmoplegia, and paresthesia of the arms and trunk.

Reported in male patients between 38 and 65 years of age. Complete recovery is usual.

Some authors have named the Bickerstaff’s syndrome as a synonym for Miller Fisher syndrome, but that is a misnomer. Bickerstaff’s syndrome is a brain stem encephalitis. See under E. R. Bickerstaff, British physician.


  • M. Fisher:
    An unusual variant of acute idiopathic polyneuritis (syndrome of ophthalmolplegia, ataxia and areflexia).
    New England Journal of Medicine, Boston, 1956, 255: 57-65.

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