Background About 40% of responders to treatment for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) remain treatment dependent and have a relapse if treatment is interrupted.
Objective To look for factors associated with treatment dependence or successful withdrawal in CIDP patients.
Methods We retrospectively studied 70 responder CIDP patients comprising 34 patients who remained treatment dependent (treatment-dependent group) and 36 patients whose treatment could be discontinued (treatment withdrawal group). Clinical, biological, electrophysiological and therapeutic features were compared between these groups.
Results A multifocal deficit was more frequent in the treatment-dependent group (35%) than in the treatment withdrawal group (8%) (p<0.01). The most frequent effective treatment was intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) for the treatment-dependent group (79%). In this group, more patients were resistant to corticosteroids in first-line therapy (93%) than in the treatment withdrawal group (40%) (p=0.002). The delay to effective treatment was significantly shorter for the treatment withdrawal group than for the treatment-dependent group (mean 11.1 vs 31.2 months; p<0.01). The rate of successful withdrawal was lower with IVIG (29%) than with corticosteroids (83%) (p<0.001).
Conclusions When compared with the treatment withdrawal group, the treatment-dependent group was more frequently responsive to IVIG, more frequently resistant to corticosteroids in first-line treatment, had a longer delay to effective treatment and was more likely to present a multifocal deficit. The rate of successful withdrawal seems to be higher with corticosteroids, but a prospective study with a long-term follow-up is needed to confirm these features.