Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy: a study of proposed electrodiagnostic and histologic criteria

Arch Neurol. 2000 Dec;57(12):1745-50. doi: 10.1001/archneur.57.12.1745.


Objective: To examine the sensitivity of the 3 proposed electrodiagnostic (EDX) criteria for demyelination, the sensitivity and specificity of the proposed Ad Hoc Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology AIDS [Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome] Task Force histologic criteria (AAN criteria), the degree of agreement among these criteria, and the diagnostic value of sural nerve histologic criteria in patients with idiopathic chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP).

Design and methods: A retrospective analysis of 24 patients with idiopathic CIDP and 12 patients with diabetic polyneuropathy (DP) who underwent comparable testing of clinical, histologic, and EDX features.

Results: We found 42%, 50%, and 79% sensitivity of the proposed EDX, AAN teased fiber, and AAN electron microscopic (EM) criteria, respectively, for demyelination in CIDP. The specificity of the proposed AAN teased fiber and EM criteria for demyelination was greater than 80% when tested against patients with DP. There was lack of agreement between the EDX and histologic criteria. Almost two thirds of patients with CIDP who met the EM criteria but none of the EDX criteria for demyelination showed a favorable response to immunomodulatory therapy.

Conclusions: Sural nerve histologic criteria offer unique sensitivity and acceptable specificity toward the diagnosis of CIDP. Sural nerve biopsy should be considered when a clinical suspicion of CIDP remains in patients who do not meet the proposed EDX criteria for demyelination.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / classification
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Conduction
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating / classification
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating / diagnosis*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sural Nerve / pathology*