Abstract

Background

Management of patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) is complicated by the challenging diagnosis, monitoring of disease activity and treatment response. Real world data about the current practice of care in CIDP are rare, but important to improve clinical guidelines.

Methods

In this study we determined the current practice of diagnosis and treatment in relation to the clinical outcome of patients with CIDP in a cross‐sectional study in The Netherlands. All patients registered at the Dutch neuromuscular patient organization and patients at the Erasmus Medical Center were approached. CIDP diagnosis was confirmed by using patient files and expert consensus.

Results

The response rate was 137/197 (70%) and the diagnosis CIDP was confirmed in 112 patients. The time from onset of symptoms until CIDP diagnosis was median 5 months and >12 months in 26% of the patients. Patients with a late diagnosis (>5 months) compared to patients with an early diagnosis (≤5 months) more frequently had another initial diagnosis (p<0.001), multifocal abnormalities (p=0.011), final diagnosis made in university hospitals (p=0.001), and more (residual) complaints, also illustrated via two patient reported, validated clinical outcome measures. Although 97% of patients received treatment, 88% reported (residual) neurological symptoms and deficits.

Conclusion

CIDP diagnosis is often delayed, especially in patients with atypical CIDP variants. Diagnostic delay may result in delayed initiation of treatment. A more rapid and accurate diagnosis of CIDP may prevent or at least reduce residual neurological deficits and accompanying disability in CIDP.

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