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Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and pregnancy: systematic review
  1. Felix Kohle1,
  2. Satoshi Kuwabara2,
  3. Helmar Christoph Lehmann1
  1. 1 Neurology, Medical Faculty of the University of Cologne, Koln, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
  2. 2 Neurology, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helmar Christoph Lehmann, Neurology, Medical Faculty of the University of Cologne, 50937 Koln, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany; helmar.lehmann{at}


Pregnancy largely affects disease activity and clinical course in women with immune-mediated neurological disorders. Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is rare but the most common chronic immune-mediated neuropathy; however, the effects of pregnancy on CIDP have never been investigated except case reports or series. We here provide a systematic review of the literature from 1 January 1969 to 30 June 2020 that revealed 24 women with CIDP, who had onset or relapse during pregnancy. Of these, 17 (71%) developed CIDP during the first pregnancy, and 8 (47%) had a relapse during subsequent pregnancies. Of the 17 patients, in whom the CIDP subtypes were determined, all of them had typical CIDP. First-line treatments for CIDP, such as corticosteroids, immunoglobulin and plasma exchange were efficacious and safe. We suggest that pregnancy can trigger typical CIDP in some women, and women with CIDP have a higher risk of relapse during pregnancy. The onset or relapse of CIDP during pregnancy is a rare but challenging constellation for physicians.

  • neuroimmunology
  • neuromuscular
  • neuropathy
  • obstetrics
  • immunology

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  • Contributors FK conceived the review, searched the literature and wrote the first draft. HCL and SK searched the literature and critically reassessed the review. All authors critically revised all the versions of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.