Background: Recent studies have reported that patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) have a predisposition to develop chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP).
Objectives: To determine whether patients with DM have a polyneuropathy fulfilling electrophysiologic criteria for CIDP, and whether CIDP is more frequent in patients with type 1 than in patients with type 2 DM.
Methods: We prospectively studied the frequency of electrophysiologic changes meeting the criteria for CIDP in patients with DM seen in our electrophysiology laboratory during a 51-month period (period 1). To evaluate the relationship between DM and CIDP, we prospectively determined during a 14-month period (period 2) the frequency of DM in patients seen in our electrophysiology laboratory with other neuromuscular diseases, and the frequency of idiopathic CIDP.
Results: During period 1, 120 patients with DM met the electrophysiologic criteria for CIDP (DM-CIDP). The most frequent clinical features of DM-CIDP were those of a predominantly large-fiber sensorimotor neuropathy, with recent motor deterioration and a moderately increased cerebrospinal fluid protein concentration. Twenty-six of the 120 patients were given intravenous immunoglobulin (400 mg/kg per day for 5 days), and 21 patients (80.8%) had significant improvement in the neurologic deficit at the end of 4 weeks of therapy. The DM-CIDP occurred equally in type 1 and type 2 DM. During period 2, 1127 patients were seen. Of these, 189 (16.8%) had DM with various neurologic disorders, including 32 patients (16.9%) with DM-CIDP. Among the remaining 938 patients without DM, 17 (1.8%) had idiopathic CIDP. The odds of occurrence of DM-CIDP was 11 times higher among diabetic than nondiabetic patients (P<.001).
Conclusions: Demyelinating neuropathy meeting the electrophysiologic criteria for CIDP occurred in both types of DM, and its occurrence was significantly higher in diabetic than in nondiabetic patients.