Ultrasound is emerging as a useful tool for the evaluation of immune-mediated neuropathies because it can provide high-resolution anatomic information to complement electrodiagnostic data. Nerve enlargements are commonly found in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), and their presence likely useful in diagnosis, particularly if multifocal.
In this study, the authors undertook a retrospective chart review to identify ultrasound findings in patients with CIDP previously studied in a single busy neurodiagnostic laboratory.
Of the 50 cases identified from 2000 to 2017, individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of CIDP (21 cases) were more likely to have multiple sites of enlargement, as well as more pronounced nerve enlargement, than patients who were subsequently found to have an alternate cause of neuropathy (22 cases). The presence of any moderately enlarged nerve segment predicted definite CIDP with sensitivity of 81% and specificity 77%.
This study demonstrates that ultrasound can be of diagnostic utility in patients with suspected CIDP, even when conducted in a nonstandardized real-world setting.