Advances in the diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment of CIDP

Author(s): Dalakas MC; Medscape

Abstract

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is the most common chronic autoimmune neuropathy. Despite clinical challenges in diagnosis-owing in part to the existence of disease variants, and different views on how many electrophysiological abnormalities are needed to document demyelination-consensus criteria seem to have been reached for research or clinical practice. Current standard of care involves corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) and/or plasmapheresis, which provide short-term benefits. Maintenance therapy with IVIg can induce sustained remission, increase quality of life and prevent further axonal loss, but caution is needed to avoid overtreatment. Commonly used immunosuppressive drugs offer minimal benefit, necessitating the development of new therapies for treatment-refractory patients. Advances in our understanding of the underlying immunopathology in CIDP have identified new targets for future therapeutic efforts, including T cells, B cells, and transmigration and transduction molecules. New biomarkers and scoring systems represent emerging tools with the potential to predict therapeutic responses and identify patients with active disease for enrollment into clinical trials. This Review highlights the recent advances in diagnosing CIDP, provides an update on the immunopathology including new target antigens, and discusses current treatments, ongoing challenges and future therapeutic directions.

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