Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Validity of diagnostic criteria for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy: a multicentre European study
  1. Y A Rajabally1,
  2. G Nicolas2,3,
  3. F Piéret4,
  4. P Bouche3,
  5. P Y K Van den Bergh4
  1. 1
    Neuromuscular Clinic, Department of Neurology, University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  2. 2
    Centre de Référence Maladies Neuromusculaires de l’Enfant et de l’Adulte Nantes-Angers, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire d’Angers, Angers, France
  3. 3
    Fédération de Neurophysiologie Clinique, Hôpital Salpêtrière, Paris, France
  4. 4
    Centre de Référence Neuromusculaire, Service de Neurologie, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Y A Rajabally, Neuromuscular Clinic, Department of Neurology, University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester LE5 4PW, UK; yusuf.rajabally{at}


Background: Diagnostic criteria for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) have variable sensitivity and specificity. Newly published criteria by Koski et al combine clinical and electrophysiological components, either of which suffices to establish the diagnosis. European Federation of Neurological Societies/Peripheral Nerve Society (EFNS/PNS) criteria require mandatory electrophysiology, as do other sets of criteria.

Methods: The value of the two above-mentioned sets of criteria, on 151 patients with CIDP, and 162 controls with axonal neuropathy, from four European centres was assessed. Results were compared with Van den Bergh and Piéret’s criteria and those of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). The utility of more extensive nerve-conduction studies was ascertained.

Results: Koski et al’s criteria had a sensitivity of 63% and specificity of 99.3%. With unilateral, right-sided, forearm/foreleg, four-nerve studies, EFNS/PNS criteria offered a sensitivity of 81.3% and specificity of 96.2% for “definite/probable” CIDP. Van den Bergh and Piéret’s criteria had a sensitivity of 79.5% and specificity of 96.9%. AAN criteria were poorly sensitive (45.7%) but highly specific (100%). “Possible” electrophysiological CIDP as per EFNS/PNS criteria were poorly specific (69.2%). More extensive studies increased the diagnostic sensitivity of EFNS/PNS criteria (96.7%) but reduced the specificity (79.3%).

Conclusions: In our patient populations, the EFNS/PNS criteria were the most sensitive and allowed identification of a highly significantly greater number of patients than Koski et al’s criteria. The latter were comparable in specificity with the “definite/probable” EFNS/PNS electrodiagnostic subcategories. More extensive nerve-conduction studies improved diagnostic yield but resulted in loss of specificity.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.