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J Neurol. 2002 Mar;249(3):330-6.

Disease severity in multifocal motor neuropathy and its association with the response to immunoglobulin treatment.

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Department of Neurology, Rudolf Magnus Institute for Neurosciences, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Disease progression in multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) was studied by comparing severity and duration of disease. We assessed disease severity by determining muscle weakness, disability, conduction block (CB), and distal and proximal compound muscle action potential (CMAP)-amplitude in 38 patients with MMN in whom disease duration ranged from 6 months to 34 years. As indicator for an ongoing immune-mediated process, the response to one course of IVIg treatment was measured in 34 patients and associated with disease severity. With increasing disease duration, weakness and disability became significantly more severe, and the distal and proximal CMAP-amplitude decreased significantly. The number of CBs was significantly higher in patients with a disease duration longer than 10 years than in those affected less than 10 years. Thirty of the 34 patients responded to IVIg treatment. Non-responsiveness to IVIg was not associated with any of the disease variables. Severe and widespread weakness was significantly associated with a response > or = 2 on the MRC-sum-score. Our results provide evidence for a slowly progressive disease course of MMN. The good response to IVIg treatment in patients with severe and prolonged disease indicates that progression may be the result of an ongoing immune-mediated process. These findings imply that early treatment may prevent future progression of weakness and disability in patients with MMN.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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