Background: About 40% of responders to treatment for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) remain treatment dependent and have a relapse if treatment is interrupted.
Objective: To look for factors associated with treatment dependence or successful withdrawal in CIDP patients.
Methods: We retrospectively studied 70 responder CIDP patients comprising 34 patients who remained treatment dependent (treatment-dependent group) and 36 patients whose treatment could be discontinued (treatment withdrawal group). Clinical, biological, electrophysiological and therapeutic features were compared between these groups.
Results: A multifocal deficit was more frequent in the treatment-dependent group (35%) than in the treatment withdrawal group (8%) (p<0.01). The most frequent effective treatment was intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) for the treatment-dependent group (79%). In this group, more patients were resistant to corticosteroids in first-line therapy (93%) than in the treatment withdrawal group (40%) (p=0.002). The delay to effective treatment was significantly shorter for the treatment withdrawal group than for the treatment-dependent group (mean 11.1 vs 31.2 months; p<0.01). The rate of successful withdrawal was lower with IVIG (29%) than with corticosteroids (83%) (p<0.001).
Conclusions: When compared with the treatment withdrawal group, the treatment-dependent group was more frequently responsive to IVIG, more frequently resistant to corticosteroids in first-line treatment, had a longer delay to effective treatment and was more likely to present a multifocal deficit. The rate of successful withdrawal seems to be higher with corticosteroids, but a prospective study with a long-term follow-up is needed to confirm these features.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.