Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)

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Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)

Question

What is chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy?

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Answer

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, also called chronic relapsing polyneuropathy, occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks peripheral nerves. This disorder occurs in different forms. The most common manifestation is slowly progressive weakness in the arms and legs.

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy may follow a viral infection and can be recurrent. Signs and symptoms — which usually develop slowly over weeks and progress over several months — may include:

  • Weakness in the arms, legs and face
  • Tingling and numbness in the arms and legs
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue

Without treatment, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy usually doesn't improve. Treatment may include:

  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin
  • Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis)
  • Physical therapy

Last Updated: 03/10/2006
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