Chronic inflammatory axonal polyneuropathy.

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Chronic inflammatory axonal polyneuropathy (CIAP) is defined on the basis of the clinical, electrophysiological and nerve biopsy findings and therapeutic responses of 'immunotherapy responding chronic axonal polyneuropathy (IR-CAP)'.The diagnosis of IR-CAP was made when all of three of the following mandatory criterion were met: (1) acquired, chronic progressive or relapsing symmetrical or asymmetrical polyneuropathy with duration of progression >2 months; (2) electrophysiological evidence of axonal neuropathy in at least two nerves without any evidence of 'strict criteria of demyelination'; and (3) definite responsiveness to immunotherapy.Thirty-three patients with IR-CAP showed similar clinical features of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) except 'motor neuropathy subtype'. High spinal fluid protein was found in 27/32 (78%) cases. 'Inflammatory axonal neuropathy' was proven in 14 (45%) of 31 sural nerve biopsies.IR-CAP could well be 'axonal CIDP' in view of clinical similarity, but not proven as yet. Thus, IR-CAP is best described as CIAP, a distinct entity that deserves its recognition in view of responsiveness to immunotherapy.Diagnosis of CIAP can be made by additional documentation of 'inflammation' by high spinal fluid protein or nerve biopsy in addition to the first two diagnostic criteria of IR-CAP.

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