Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy Follow-up

  • Author: Richard A Lewis, MD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
Updated: May 06, 2016

Further Outpatient Care

Outpatient care consists of visits to specialists such as neurologists and physiatrists and of treatment visits for IVIg infusions or to the plasma exchange unit.


Further Inpatient Care

Most care is delivered on an outpatient basis, although patients may have to be admitted for a short stay for the initiation of plasma exchange or IVIg treatment, because of complications of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy or treatment, or for inpatient physical therapy.


Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

Most medications are administered on an outpatient basis. IVIg can be administered as a home infusion or during an outpatient visit. An exception is plasma exchange, which requires visits to a specialized pheresis center.



See the list below:

  • If the disease becomes severe, swallowing and breathing functions can be affected. Aspiration pneumonia, atelectasis, and respiratory failure can occur.
  • If autonomic function is involved, GI motility and bladder function can be abnormal. Orthostatic hypotension and cardiac conduction defects can occur.
  • As already discussed, complications of treatment also must be considered.


Some have suggested that patients with the relapsing disease have a better prognosis than patients with the chronic progressive course. Approximately 70% of patients are said to make relatively good recovery from their relapses, and close to 90% of patients respond to initial immunosuppressive therapy. Some patients do not respond to the usual treatments and accumulate significant disability. Some patients have only a short treatment effect and become treatment dependent. A useful way of understanding the clinical status of patients is to use the CIDP activity status (CDAS). This approach has been useful for both clinical research and for clinical practice.[4]


Patient Education

Refer to physical and occupational therapists and to a physiatrist for optimal outpatient therapy, orthotic devices, and adaptation at home.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Richard A Lewis, MD Professor and Associate Chairman of Neurology, Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Richard A Lewis, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association, Peripheral Nerve Society, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine

Disclosure: Received grant/research funds from GBS/CIDP FI for other; Received consulting fee from Baxter for consulting; Received grant/research funds from Baxter for none; Received consulting fee from CSL Behring for consulting.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Florian P Thomas, MD, PhD, Drmed, MA, MS Director, National MS Society Multiple Sclerosis Center; Professor and Director, Clinical Research Unit, Department of Neurology, Adjunct Professor of Physical Therapy, Associate Professor, Institute for Molecular Virology, St Louis University School of Medicine; Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine

Florian P Thomas, MD, PhD, Drmed, MA, MS is a member of the following medical societies: Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association, Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE Founding Editor-in-Chief, eMedicine Neurology; Founder and CEO/CMO, PHLT Consultants; Chief Medical Officer, MeMD Inc

Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Association for Physician Leadership, American Academy of Neurology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Dianna Quan, MD Professor of Neurology, Director of Electromyography Laboratory, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Dianna Quan, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, American Neurological Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


The authors and editors of Medscape Reference gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous author Marina Zvartau-Hind, MD, PhD, to the development and writing of this article.

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Electromyography of a patient with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy illustrating conduction block, temporal dispersion of compound muscle action potential, prolonged distal latencies, and slowed conduction.
Prolonged F wave latencies (normal is < 31).
Electron micrograph of the peripheral nerve of a patient with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy. Note "onion bulb" formation in the myelin sheath of the nerve fibers due to continuous demyelination and remyelination. Courtesy of A. Sima, MD, Department of Pathology, Wayne State University.
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