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PLoS One. 2014 Feb 19;9(2):e89344. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089344. eCollection 2014.

The characteristics of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy in patients with and without diabetes--an observational study.

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Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.



We aimed to determine whether the clinical characteristics and electrodiagnostic classification of nerve injury, and response to treatment differed in patients diagnosed with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) with and without diabetes.


CIDP patients with diabetes (CIDP+DM) (n = 67) and without diabetes (CIDP-DM) (n = 67) underwent clinical examination and nerve conduction studies (NCS). CIDP-DM patients were selected using age and gender matching with the existing CIDP+DM cohort. Patients treated with immunotherapies were classified as responders (R) (n = 46) or non-responders (NR) (n = 54) based on clinical response to treatment. The groups were compared using analysis of variance, contingency tables and Kruskal-Wallis analyses.


CIDP+DM subjects had more severe neuropathy based on higher lower limb vibration potential thresholds (VPT)(p = 0.004), higher Toronto Clinical Neuropathy Score (TCNS) (p = 0.0009), more proximal weakness (p = 0.03), more gait abnormality (p = 0.03) and more abnormal NCS. CIDP+DM subjects had more abnormal sural NCS with lower sural sensory nerve action potential amplitudes (2.4±3.0 µV, 6.6±6.0 µV, p<0.0001) and slower sural nerve conduction velocities (38.6±5.4 m/s, 41.0±5.3 m/s, p = 0.04). CIDP-DM subjects were more likely to receive immune therapies (93% vs 57%, p = <0.0001), despite no significant differences in treatment responder rates (p = 0.71). Patients who responded to therapy had shorter duration of CIDP than non-responders (8.0±6.0 y vs 11.9±7.6 y, p = 0.004).


The clinical phenotype and electrophysiological profile of CIDP patients differs according to the presence or absence of diabetes. Despite CIDP+DM patients having more severe clinical and electrophysiological neuropathy, they are less likely to receive disease-modifying/specific therapy, yet have similar response rates to treatment as those without diabetes. Specifically, the duration of neuropathy - not diabetes status - was associated with treatment response.

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