How is Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) Diagnosed?

What is Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)?

Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, which is also known by the name of CDIP, is an extremely rare neurological condition in which there is inflammation of the peripheral nerves and nerve roots leading to disruption of the normal functioning of the peripheral nervous system(1).

Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy or CIDP destructs the myelin sheath, which is a protective layer above the nerves the function of which is to protect the nerves from any injury. The destruction of myelin sheath affects normal transmission of signals to and from the brain to various parts of the body.

Over time with the progression of the Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, the patient may ultimately have paralysis either unilateral or bilateral, loss of motor and sensory function especially of the upper and lower extremities among other complications(2).The motor and sensory impairment is normally bilateral in Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy or CIDP although the severity of the symptoms may differ from individual to individual.

Some patients show a gradual onset of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy symptoms, which linger on for long periods of time while in some cases the symptoms tend to wax and wane. This article gives a brief account of how Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy or CIDP is diagnosed.

How Is Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) Diagnosed?

Diagnosing Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathyor CIDP may be quite challenging. In order to diagnose this CIDP, the patient should be experiencing the symptoms for a minimum of two months(2).

Physical Examination for Diagnosis of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy:

A patient with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy on physical examination will have an absent or decreased deep tendon reflexes and have observable distal and proximal weakness of the muscles(2). If these signs are present, then it will point towards a diagnosis of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathyor CIDP.

Diagnosis of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy with Electromyography(3):

In order to confirm the diagnosis, the physician may order certain tests of which the most prominent are EMG or electromyography along with nerve conduction studies (2, 3). The nerve conduction studies will clearly show a slowed conduction velocity further confirming the diagnosis.

Lumbar Puncture for Diagnosing Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy(3):

Additionally, a lumbar puncture can be done which will show elevated levels of proteins in the spinal fluid with minimal inflammatory cells.

Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy Diagnosed with Radiological Studies

Radiological studies in the form of an MRI will show nerve root enlargement with clear signs of inflammation(2). This will confirm the diagnosis of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy or CIDP.

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