Focused Neuromuscular Ultrasound Approach for the Diagnosis of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy

J Clin Neurophysiol. 2023 May 1;40(4):378-381. doi: 10.1097/WNP.0000000000000905. Epub 2021 Oct 22.


Purpose: Previous ultrasonographic studies of individuals with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) have shown nerve enlargement at several sites. This prospective study compares only the bilateral median and ulnar nerves of individuals with CIDP with reference values to determine the clinical usefulness of this focused approach as a diagnostic tool.

Methods: The cross-sectional area, echogenicity, and vascularity of the bilateral median and ulnar nerves of 25 subjects with CIDP were measured using ultrasound. Nineteen had typical CIDP based on the European Federation of Neurological Societies and the Peripheral Nerve Society guidelines, whereas six had atypical CIDP and were diagnosed based on clinical impression.

Results: Focal nerve enlargement was found in at least one segment in all subjects. Subjects with typical CIDP had larger cross-sectional areas compared with subjects with atypical CIDP.

Conclusion: A focused ultrasound study, involving only the median and ulnar nerves, is sensitive for the detection of nerve enlargement in CIDP. Measuring the cross-sectional area of the median and ulnar nerves is clinically feasible and may help establish the diagnosis of CIDP.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neural Conduction
  • Peripheral Nerves / diagnostic imaging
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating* / diagnostic imaging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Ulnar Nerve / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography