Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)
What is chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)?
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a rare neurological disorder characterized by inflammation of nerve roots and peripheral nerves and destruction of the myelin sheath. This affects how fast the nerve signals are transmitted and leads to loss of nerve fibers.
What are the symptoms of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)?
- Problems walking due to weakness or lack of feeling in the feet
- Trouble using the arms and hands or legs and feet due to weakness
- Sensation changes, such as numbness or decreased sensation, pain, burning, tingling, or other abnormal sensations (usually affects the feet first, then the arms and hands)
- Abnormal or uncoordinated movement
- Problems breathing
- Hoarseness or voice changes or slurred speech
What causes chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)?
The exact cause of CIDP is unknown but there are strong indications that CIDP is an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders occur when the body’s natural defenses against invading organisms suddenly begin to attack healthy tissue. The cause of autoimmune disorders is unknown.
How is chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) diagnosed?
CIDP can be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms must be present for at least two months. Tests for diagnosing include:
- Nerve conduction testing
- Lumbar puncture looking for elevated spinal fluid protein without many inflammatory cells
- MRI imaging of nerve roots
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
- Antinuclear antibody (ANA) level
- Biochemistry profile
- Serum and urine immunoelectrophoresis
What are the treatments for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)?
The goal of treatment is to reverse the attack on the nerves. Treatments may include:
- Corticosteroids to help reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms
- Plasmapheresis or plasma exchange to remove antibodies from the blood
- Intravenous immune globulin (IVIg), which involves adding large numbers of antibodies to the blood plasma to reduce the effect of the antibodies that are causing the problem