Blood Labs – WBC and CRP
May 19, 2017 at 11:28 pm
Does anyone’s doctor use CRP (c-reactive protein) and/WBC (white blood cell) count to monitor their disease? Before being diagnosed in November, I had chronically elevated WBC for at least 13 years, which slipped through the cracks and I think reflects the immune response. That’s as far back as I could find records. And a rheumatologist who saw me during my diagnosis phase ran the CRP which is a general marker for inflammation. After my loading dose of IVIG, the CRP dropped to half, but I only have those two data points (and had to ask the neuro nurse to add it into my lab order, it wasn’t something the neuro MD was looking for). And the WBC dropped into the normal range for the first time in a decade. Haven’t had these labs since December, see my doc in July and wonder if I should be asking to have these run periodically?
May 20, 2017 at 1:14 pm
My neurologist (who has treated many CIDP patients; other neuros refer patients to him) says it takes 6 months to judge how much IVIG is benefitting a patient, and the only real measure of progress is an EMG. The EMG shows clearly whether nerve damage has stopped, slowed down, or has continued at the pre-treatment pace. Blood tests won’t show any of that. You might ask your primary care physician to do the blood tests if you’re concerned about them.
May 22, 2017 at 6:17 pm
CR-P, it seems, is sometimes used as a measure of the degree of inflammation, in the blood, in relation to heart disease and sometimes, other diseases. It’s use for this purpose may be controversial.
I vaguely recall an article by Dr. Lewis, the Lewis in Lewis-Sumner variation of CIDP where he states that WBC should be carefully monitored by your Doctor during the log term use of an immunosuppresant such as Imuran (azathioprine).
It is my understanding that the inflammation which occurs during the “I” of CIDP takes place within the nerve structures, not the blood serum, and requires a nerve biopsy to be clearly seen.
If this is true, then probably neither of these are useful as diagnostic tools for CIDP.
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