Notes on CIDP-part 2

November 15, 2008 at 10:56 pm

See disclaimer at the top of the thread.

Treat the person (individualize to maximize function and quality of life for this person)
Treat the disease to limit additive damage.
Treat the Symptoms. It is hard to function well if in pain.
Do not forget the impact that the illness has on work, social, and coping areas.
(Treatment should be collaborative with neurologist, patient, and patient’s important people. One does not necessarily need to treat a stable numbness that does not impact function, but it is wise to try to treat a symptom that causes a huge impact on daily function in that individual’s life).
Treatments for weakness can include medications, physical therapy, and assistive devices (AFOs/orthoptics, cane, wheelchair, etc). Treatment for pain can include medication, physical therapy, and surgical options (presumably ablation).

[B]Goals of Treatment[/B]
Return to normal health or function
Improve function to the best possible
Feel better
Keep disease from getting worse.
There was discussion that in some acute illnesses, one can return to normal health and function in life, but that sometimes in chronic illnesses, the best one can do is to improve function to the best place possible and limit the amount of damage caused by the disease. It was also discussed that feeling better in important and that helps function in life in greater proportion than expected from impact on the disease process itself.

[B]Cure or Control[/B]
IV IgG rarely cures CIDP, it just help control the amount of ongoing damage to the nerves.
The immunosuppressive agents may foster remission and sometimes stable (prolonged) remissions, so they can be considered curative at time.

[B]Treatment Options[/B]
1 or 2. Steroids
1 or 2. IV IgG
3. Plasma exchange
4. Immunosuppressive/cytotoxic drugs (cyclophosfamide, azathioprine, cyclosporine, mycophenolate, methotrexate, etc.
(There was discussion that people should not be scared of using steroids due to concerns with side effects and that immunoglobulin can have significant side effects as well in some people. It was also discussed not to forget about trying plasma exchange is someone is really doing poorly and has failed or cannot take the two top therapies. It was also discussed that these three were the only scientifically (trial based) proven therapies to work, but that if they fail, the immunosuppressive/cytotoxic drugs can be used.)

[B]Treatment Duration for CIDP[/B]
Only one month in < 10% About 30% one month to a year About 30% 1.5 to 4 years About 30% more than 4 years Average 40 months, range 1 month to 40 years, median 24 months (median means that half the people were treated less than 24 months and half more than 24 months) There was discussion about how to know if a treatment works. In a study of the benefits of IV IgG, four measures were used, motor, balance, pain, and sensory with zero normal and 3 worst for each. The worst group (wheelchair bound) had the greatest benefit with more than 1/3 improving, but notably the improvement in this group was significant for the fact that 2/3 of these were able to walk again after treatment. (The conclusion from this was that people can get a lot of benefit from the treatment if they benefit and so one should try.) People that had less than a year of symptoms did better—it is postulated that this might be due to axonal damage that occurs the longer CIDP persists. As many as 80% of the people not have CIDP for a prolonged time improved. In the RMC=Randomized Methorexate CIDP trial in which the goal was to reduce the amount of IV IgG given, more than 40% of the people on placebo (inactive drug) in addition to immunoglobulin were able to reduce the amount of immunoglobulin needed for disease control. Methorexate was slightly better, but could not shown to be significantly different compared with placebo. There was discussion that a longer trial, a test of how dependent people really are on immunoglobulin, better measures of outcome, and higher doses of methotrexate might make a significant difference. There was comparison from a study of outcome done in the mid 1970s and to a recent study. In the old study, 11 % of people with CIDP died of it or complications from it and now only about 1% do. There was the same percentage—about 60% reported as disabled although the definition of this was different. Most impressive probably for the benefits of modern therapy are that almost 30% were confined to a wheelchair in the old study and only about 7% now and the converse set of numbers was applicable for those considered to have had CIDP resolved such that they were either recovered or not needing medications to remain stable. [B]Questions and Discussions on the Top three therapies.[/B] [B]Discussion about IV IgG[/B] There was discussion of how best to wean off IV IgG When start to wean, use signs and symptoms to guide weaning—want to not worsen before next dose—minimize the damage. Can wean either by decreasing the dose of IV IgG given or spacing out the interval between doses—both work. Patient factors help to guide which to do. There was discussion about how to know if IV IgG is working. Again want to not have any worsening before next dose—may need to increase dose or give the same dose more frequently. One expert says he treats aggressively until no more improvement occurs, and then slowly reduces the therapy intensity from that. This helps to stop the ongoing damage. There was discussion that IV IgG seems to work better in pure motor CIDP and both work in motor and sensory CIDP. [B]Discussion about steroids.[/B] One of the newer ways to treat CIDP is with pulse steroids and this is showing a lot of success with fewer side effects that continuous daily or alternative day steroids. Two main ways are more common. Ther first is with high doses of steroids (often decadron) given for four days every four weeks or month. The other is oral or IV steroids (typically prednisone or methylprednisolone) given once a week. It was stated that there was less weight gain, high blood sugars, and high blood pressures seen with this compared to the older ways. [B]Discussion about chronic plasma exchange. [/B] Not all people need an indweeling IV access in order to get pheresis. It depends on the person. Think about the risks of infection. If standard access devices do not work, a couple doctors said they had patients with a fistula as is used for hemodialysis. [B]Discussion about other therapies. Discussion on Azathioprine[/B] In over 300 people with CIDP in the Outcomes Survey in which many of you may have participated, azathioprine was used in about 13% of the people, about twice (2-4 times) as frequently as the other immunosuppressive agents. [B]Discussion on CellCept (Mycophenolate)[/B] There are two serious CNS risks to think about with the use of this medication—Lymphoma in the brain and PVL (periventricular leukoencephalopathy). These risks also occur with other immunomodulary medicines. It was discussed repeatedly that virtually all medicines have good things and bad things associated with taking them and that this medicine is not exception. It was stated that it is important to not fear a very small chance of a rare complication so much that one does not treat the large risk of ongoing nerve damage from CIDP if other options will not work. It was stated that all patients should discuss therapy option risks and benefits with their neurologist. [B]Less used Therapies Rituximab[/B] There was discussion about rituximab in CIDP and the general consensus was that it seemed about 50% of people benefitted from this medicine. It was stated that there is a paper in press that response is much better in CIDP associated with an IgM paraprotein. It was stated that rituxan is worth trying in CIDP if other treatments fail. [B]Discussion about bone marrow transplant for treatment[/B] There was concern in most that there is a serious risk of dying with this treatment and that it is really hard on the person. It was quoted that there are reported only about 6-7 cases of autologous (getting your own bone marrow back) BMT in the medical literature for CIDP and that there is concern that several patients have relapsed in about 2-3 years. Allogenic (getting rescue cells from someone other than yourself) stem cell transplant has a better chance of curing the CIDP, but the risk of dying from complications of the transplant are much higher. It was said that the chance of dying during transplant is higher in people with lupus or MS than in people with cancer. It was also said that people have seen return of the autoimmune disease after transplantation for other neurologic autoimmune disease.