Reply To: 79 yr old w/symptoms of CIDP – how to be sure?

February 18, 2019 at 1:18 pm

Hi Lisa, CIDP can usually be distinguished through the following key tests:
• Diminished or absent deep tendon reflexes.
• A spinal tap, to analyze cerebrospinal fluid for elevated protein levels.
• A Nerve Conduction Velocity Study that measures how well individual nerves can send an electrical signal from the spinal cord to the muscles.
• Complete Blood and urine tests.
• Nerve biopsy is a test chosen as a last resort (due to possible sensory deficit and – in some cases – chronic pain from this surgical procedure) and usually performed only when other clinical, laboratory and electrophysiological methods have failed to clarify the cause.

CIDP and its variants can be difficult to diagnose exactly. Even assessing the results of an NCV is a bit of an art. Usually, all the tests must be made to confirm the presence of CIDP. Neurologists that have specialized in treating CIDP know this and the signs to look for. Other tests can be found in the following publication and may help you and your doctor better understand your Mom’s affliction, its variants, and how to best treat her:
http://www.gbs-cidp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/AcuteCareICU13.pdf