Plasma exchange in chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy: evidence suggestive of a pathogenic humoral factor

Muscle Nerve. 1982 Jul-Aug;5(6):479-84. doi: 10.1002/mus.880050610.


Chronic progressive of relapsing inflammatory polyneuropathy (CRIP) can be treated effectively with immunosuppressive drugs and/or plasma exchange (PE). This report describes a patient who responded dramatically and reproducibly to PE during four successive relapses and remained in remission while on medical immunosuppression with azathioprine and corticosteroids. The clinical course was closely correlated with electrophysiologic parameters such as compound muscle action potential amplitudes and distal latencies. The purified IgG fraction of PE filtrate bound to rat and human sciatic nerve on immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, a similar staining pattern was achieved by purified Fab fragments, which was absent in all control preparations. These findings support the hypothesis that circulating plasma factors may play a role in CRIP and that one of these factors may be an IgG antibody to peripheral nerve components.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autoantibodies / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Peripheral Nerves / immunology
  • Plasma Exchange*
  • Polyneuropathies / immunology
  • Polyneuropathies / therapy*
  • Sural Nerve / pathology


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M