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Steroids for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy: evidence base and clinical practice

Steroids for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy: evidence base and clinical practice

Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 133(4): 228-238

Evidence-based therapies for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) consist of corticosteroids, intravenous immunglobulins (IVIg), and plasma exchange. Steroids represent the oldest treatment used historically. In countries where readily available and affordable, IVIg tends to be favored as first-line treatment. The reason for this preference, despite substantially higher costs, is the perception that IVIg is more efficacious and safer than corticosteroids. However, the unselected use of IVIg as a first-line treatment option in all cases of CIDP raises issues of cost-effectiveness in the long-term. Furthermore, serious although rare, particularly thromboembolic side effects may result from their use. Recent data from randomized trials suggest pulsed corticosteroids to have a higher potential in achieving therapy-free remission or longer remission-free periods compared with IVIg, as well as relatively low rates of serious side effects when given as pulsed intravenous infusions during short periods of time. These specific advantages suggest that pulsed steroids could in many cases be used, as the first, rather than second choice of treatment when initiating immunomodulation in CIDP, primarily in hopes of achieving a remission after the short-term use. This article reviews the evidence base for the use of corticosteroids in its various forms in CIDP and factors that may influence clinicians' choice between IVIg and pulsed steroid treatment. The issue of efficacy, relapse rate and time, and side effect profile are analyzed, and some aspects from the authors' experience are discussed in relation to the possibility of using the steroid option as first-line therapy in a large proportion of patients with CIDP.

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Accession: 058905038

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26437234

DOI: 10.1111/ane.12519

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