[Treatment options for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP)]

Rev Neurol (Paris). 2006 Apr;162(4):539-43.

[Article in French]

Kuntzer T.

Unite Nerf-Muscle, Service de Neurologie, CHU Vaudois, Lausanne, Suisse.

Limits of treatment in chronic inflammatory demyelinating poly(radiculo)neuropathies (CIDP) patients are better known thanks to recent Cochrane reviews. (1) Randomized controlled trials have only focused on short-term effects, but most patients need long-term therapy, (2) There are three proven effective treatments available (prednisone; intravenous immunoglobulin or IVIg and plasma exchange or PE) which are useful in more than 60 p. 100 of patients, (3) New open studies indicated possible efficacy for mycophenolate, rituximab, etanercept, ciclosporine and interferons, and (4) Whether CIDP variants need specific treatment is still unknown. Many CIDP patients need treatment for years. The fear of side effects during long-term steroid treatment, the high costs of IVIg, the necessity for specialized equipment and the invasive nature of PE, are important factors determining the choice for one of these treatments. In most up-to-date treatment options, patients are initially treated with IVIg at a dosage of 2 g/kg administered for 25 days, clinical improvement can be judged within 10 days. The percentage of patients responding seems to be approximately 70 percent, with a very high chance (approximately 85 percent) that repeated administration of IVIg will be necessary, explaining why most neurologists add an immunosuppressive drug at this stage, but there is no consensus concerning the best drug to be used. Combinations of drugs are most likely to be useful in the next future, using IVIg, prednisone, and a immunosuppressor agent, such as mycophenolate, rituximab, etanercept, or ciclosporine. General measures to rehabilitate patients and to manage symptoms like fatigue and other residual findings are important.

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