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Spinal cord involvement in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy: a clinical and MRI study


Concomitant central nervous system (CNS) involvement in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) is rare. Although the spinal nerve roots may present MRI abnormalities in CIDP, hitherto, the spinal cord has been investigated in a single study. We retrospectively investigated clinically and with MRI a cohort of patients with definite CIDP diagnosis (EFNS/PNS criteria) for evidence of brain and spinal cord involvement, who were initially admitted in our department during the last 4 years. Among 12 patients with CIDP (men: 8, mean age: 59.3 years, mean disease duration: 3.8 years), nine patients had their MRI scan during a clinical relapse and three during remission. Brain MRI did not document typical multiple sclerosis lesions in any patient. We did not identify any MRI abnormalities in ten patients without clinical evidence of spinal cord involvement. Conversely, MRI disclosed extensive lesions of the thoracic cord in two patients with an overt spinal cord syndrome, whom we describe. This represents the biggest MRI study of CIDP patients who have been investigated for spinal cord involvement. Our data support earlier observations that a minority of CIDP patients may additionally develop CNS involvement of variable degree.

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Correspondence to Panagiotis Ioannidis.

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Ioannidis, P., Parissis, D., Karapanayiotides, T. et al. Spinal cord involvement in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy: a clinical and MRI study. Acta Neurol Belg 115, 141–145 (2015).

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  • CIDP
  • CNS involvement
  • Demyelination