A number of presentations of chronic demyelinating polyneuropathy have been identified, each distinguished by its phenotypic pattern. In addition to classic chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), which is characterized clinically by symmetric proximal and distal weakness and sensory loss, several regional variants can be recognized: multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN: asymmetric and pure motor), multifocal acquired demyelinating sensory and motor (MADSAM) neuropathy (asymmetric, sensory, and motor), and distal acquired demyelinating symmetric (DADS) neuropathy (symmetric, distal, sensory, and motor). There are also temporal, pathological, and disease-associated variants. This review describes a clinical scheme for approaching the chronic acquired demyelinating polyneuropathies that leads to a rational use of supportive laboratory studies and treatment options. In addition, we propose new diagnostic criteria for CIDP that more accurately reflect current clinical practice.
Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.