Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) albumincytologic dissociation represents a supportive diagnostic criterion of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP).Few studies have investigated possible systemic or intrathecal humoral immune response activation in CIDP.
Aim of our study was to investigate whether the search of oligoclonal IgG bands (OCBs) might provide additional data helpful in CIDP diagnostic work-up.
Forty-eight consecutive patients with CIDP (34 men, mean age 59.4, range 16–83) were recruited. CSF analysis included nephelometric measurement of albumin and IgG concentrations, calculation of QALB, QAlbLIM and intrathecal IgG synthesis and OCBs detection with isoelectric focusing. Data were compared with those from CSF and serum of 32 patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), 18 patients with anti-myelin associated glycoprotein (MAG) antibody neuropathy, 4 patients with multifocal motor neuropathy and 32 patients with non-inflammatory neuropathies (NINPs).
Patients with CIDP and anti-MAG antibody neuropathy had significantly higher CSF albumin concentrations and QALB values than NINPs (p=0.0003 and p=0.0095, respectively). A total of 9 (19%) patients with CIDP presented identical serum and CSF OCBs (‘mirror pattern’) versus 3 patients (16.6%) with anti-MAG antibody neuropathy, 13 patients (40.6%) with GBS and 12.5% patients with NINPs. Only one patient with CIDP showed unique-to-CSF OCBs. First-line therapy was effective in 80.4% of patients with CIDP, irrespective of CSF findings.
Compared with NINP, CIDP, GBS and anti-MAG antibody neuropathies had a significantly increased CSF protein and blood–spinal nerve root barrier damage. Intrathecal humoral immune response is rare in our patients with CIDP. Systemic oligoclonal activation is more frequent, but not significantly different from what was detected in the control groups.