The diagnosis of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy is based on the symptoms and clinical exam, from which we get an idea if the peripheral nerves are involved and if there is a neuropathy. To confirm neuropathy, and to decide whether or not the patient has CIDP, we perform a nerve and muscle test called EMG nerve conduction study. In the nerve conduction study the nerves are stimulated. Based on the response of the nerve we are able to tell if the nerve is damaged. We are able to tell which part of the nerve is damaged, the nerve sheath, myelin, and/or the nerve itself. In the second part of the test, the EMG, each muscle is tested individually and we are able to tell if the muscle or the nerve that controls that muscle is damaged. When done properly, the EMG nerve conduction study is the most important test in making the diagnosis of CIDP. In addition we send specialized laboratory testing which helps us confirm the diagnosis of CIDP. In addition, at times, a spinal tap is done to analyze the spinal fluid for signs of CIDP. A muscle biopsy might be done in some cases to help with making the diagnosis.
Proper diagnosis is crucial since proper treatment could only be given if the diagnosis is correct. Dr. Shaoulian is an expert in diagnosing CIDP, and in the performance of EMG nerve conduction studies.