Immunotherapy of idiopathic inflammatory neuropathies.Muscle Nerve. 2003 Sep; 28(3):273-92.MN
Evaluation of peripheral neuropathy is a common reason for referral to a neurologist. Recent advances in immunology have identified an inflammatory component in many neuropathies and have led to treatment trials using agents that attenuate this response. This article reviews the clinical presentation and treatment of the most common subacute inflammatory neuropathies, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and Fisher syndrome, and describes the lack of response to corticosteroids and the efficacy of treatment with plasma exchange and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, although sharing some clinical, electrodiagnostic, and pathologic similarities to GBS, improves after treatment with plasma exchange and IVIG and numerous immunomodulatory agents. Controlled trials in multifocal motor neuropathy have shown benefit after treatment with IVIG and cyclophosphamide. Also discussed is the treatment of less common inflammatory neuropathies whose pathophysiology involves monoclonal proteins or antibodies directed against myelin-associated glycoprotein or sulfatide. Little treatment data exist to direct the clinician to proper management of rare inflammatory neuropathies resulting from osteosclerotic myeloma; POEMS syndrome; vasculitis; Sjögren's syndrome; and neoplasia (paraneoplastic neuropathy).