Comparison of electrodiagnostic abnormalities and criteria in a cohort of patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy

Arch Neurol. 2003 Dec;60(12):1755-9. doi: 10.1001/archneur.60.12.1755.


Background: Current electrodiagnostic criteria for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) are research oriented favoring specificity over sensitivity. Application of such criteria in clinical practice may miss the diagnosis in potentially treatable patients.

Objectives: To analyze the electrophysiologic abnormalities in a cohort of patients with clinically defined CIDP, to compare these data with published electrodiagnostic criteria, and to identify a set of abnormalities that is shared by all patients with CIDP.

Design: Retrospective medical record review.

Setting: Academically based neuromuscular clinic. Patients Fifteen patients with clinically diagnosed relapsing sensorimotor CIDP.

Interventions: Administration of intravenous immunoglobulin or prednisone.

Main outcome measures: Electrodiagnostic studies.

Results: All patients had electrodiagnostic abnormalities in at least 3 nerves with possible partial conduction block or demyelinating range abnormalities in at least 1 nerve. The diagnostic sensitivities of 5 published CIDP criteria were as follows: the Ad Hoc Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology AIDS Task Force (40%), Saperstein et al (47%), Nicolas et al (53%), Hughes et al for the Inflammatory Neuropathy Cause and Treatment Group (60%), and Thaisetthawatkul et al (70%).

Conclusions: Current electrodiagnostic criteria for CIDP are insensitive and may fail to diagnose the condition in a substantial number of patients. More inclusive criteria that allow identification of patients in routine clinical practice are needed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Electrodiagnosis*
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating / diagnosis*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating / drug therapy
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating / physiopathology
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Prednisone