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Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy; Polyneuropathy - chronic inflammatory; CIDP; Chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy; Guillain-Barré - CIDP

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a disorder that involves nerve swelling and irritation (inflammation) that leads to a loss of strength or sensation.

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Central nervous system and peripheral nervous system

Causes

CIDP is one cause of damage to nerves outside the brain or spinal cord (peripheral neuropathy). Polyneuropathy means several nerves are involved. CIDP often affects both sides of the body.

CIDP is caused by an abnormal immune response. CIDP occurs when the immune system attacks the myelin cover of the nerves. For this reason, CIDP is thought to be an autoimmune disease.

Health care providers also consider CIDP as the chronic form of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The specific triggers of CIDP vary. In many cases, the cause cannot be identified.

CIDP may occur with other conditions, such as:

Symptoms

Symptoms include any of the following:

Other symptoms that can occur with CIDP include:

Exams and Tests

The provider will perform a physical exam and ask about the symptoms, focusing on the nervous system and muscles.

Tests that may be ordered include:

Depending on the suspected cause of CIDP, other tests, such as x-rays, imaging scans, and blood tests, may be done.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to reverse the attack on the nerves. In some cases, nerves can heal and their function can be restored. In other cases, nerves are badly damaged and cannot heal, so treatment is aimed at preventing the disease from getting worse.

Which treatment is given depends on how severe the symptoms are, among other things. The most aggressive treatment is only given if you have difficulty walking, breathing, or if symptoms don't allow you to care for yourself or work.

Treatments may include:

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outcome varies. The disorder may continue long term, or you may have repeated episodes of symptoms. Complete recovery is possible, but permanent loss of nerve function is not uncommon.

Possible Complications

Complications of CIDP include:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if you have a loss of movement or sensation in any area of the body, especially if your symptoms get worse.

Related Information

Muscle function loss
Peripheral neuropathy
Acute
Guillain-Barré syndrome
Immune response

References

Katirji B. Disorders of peripheral nerves. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 107.

Smith G, Shy ME. Peripheral neuropathies. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 392.

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Review Date: 6/23/2020  

Reviewed By: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, FAAN, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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