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Nerve ultrasound for diagnosing chronic inflammatory neuropathy: a multicenter validation study

Citation

Herraets, Ingrid (2021), Nerve ultrasound for diagnosing chronic inflammatory neuropathy: a multicenter validation study, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.fttdz08ph

Abstract

Objective

To validate the diagnostic accuracy of a previously described short sonographic protocol to identify chronic inflammatory neuropathy (CIN), including chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), Lewis Sumner syndrome (LSS) and multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) and to determine the added value of nerve ultrasound to detect treatment-responsive patients compared to nerve conduction studies (NCS) in a prospective multicenter study.

Methods

We included 100 consecutive patients clinically suspected of CIN in three centers. The study protocol consisted of neurological examination, laboratory tests, NCS and nerve ultrasound. We validated a short sonographic protocol (median nerve at forearm, upper arm, and C5 nerve root) and determined its diagnostic accuracy using the EFNS/PNS criteria of CIDP/MMN (reference standard). In addition, to determine the added value of nerve ultrasound in detecting treatment-responsive patients, we used previously published diagnostic criteria based on clinical, NCS, sonographic findings and treatment response (alternative reference standard).

Results

Sensitivity and specificity of the sonographic protocol for CIN according to the reference standard were 87.4% and 67.3%, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of this protocol according to the alternative reference standard were 84.6% and 72.8%, respectively, and of NCS 76.1% and 93.4%. With addition of nerve ultrasound 44 diagnoses of CIN were established compared to 33 diagnoses with NCS alone.

Conclusions

A short sonographic protocol shows high diagnostic accuracy for detecting CIN. Nerve ultrasound is able to detect up to 25% more patients who respond to treatment.

Classification of evidence

This multicenter study provides Class IV evidence that nerve ultrasound improves diagnosing of CIN.

Funding

Prinses Beatrix Spierfonds, Award: WAR.OR14-08