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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy


Other Names for this Disease
  • CIDP
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

My friend was diagnosed with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy several months ago. He has been treated with platelet transfusions and gabapentin without relief. Are there other options for treatment? What is the outlook for this condition?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

How might chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) be treated?

The standard therapies for CIDP appear to be equally effective and include:[1][2]
  • intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) - adds large numbers of antibodies to the blood plasma to reduce the effect of the antibodies that are causing the problem
  • glucocorticoids - help reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms
  • plasma exchange - remove antibodies from the blood
The treatment choice is influenced by the preference of the affected person, side effects, treatment cost, duration, ease of administration, and availability.[1] Advantages and disadvantages of standard therapies may include the following:
  • IVIG and plasma exchange may lead to a more rapid improvement in CIDP than glucocorticoid therapy, but are less likely than glucocorticoids to produce a remission
  • IVIG is expensive, and its supply is sometimes limited
  • Glucocorticoids are inexpensive, but chronic use is limited by common and important side effects
  • Plasma exchange is expensive, invasive, and available only at specialized centers[1]
Other medications that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressants) may also be used. Physiotherapy may improve muscle strength, function and mobility.[3]
Last updated: 11/23/2015

What is the long-term outlook for people with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)?

Data are limited regarding the long-term outlook (prognosis) of CIDP,[1] and the course and prognosis appear to vary among affected people.[3] Some may have a "bout" of CIDP followed by spontaneous recovery, while others may have many bouts with partial recovery in between relapses. Some people are left with residual numbness or weakness that can lead to reduced quality of life.[3][4] Complete remission, partial remission, and severe disability have all been documented.[1] Quadriplegia, respiratory failure and death can occur, but are rare.[4]

It has been reported that approximately two-thirds of people with CIDP will initially respond to any single standard therapy (intravenous immune globulin, glucocorticoid, and plasma exchange), while about 10 to 15 percent are resistant to all of these.[1]
Last updated: 11/23/2015

References
Other Names for this Disease
  • CIDP
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.