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What is the difference between mononeuritis multiplex and CIDP?

Nov 2013
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My neurologist recently diagnosed me with mononeuritis multiplex, but the physician's assistant always refers to my condition as CIDP. I asked her which I had or if they were the same thing and she said that the mononeuritis was a specific form of CIDP. Could you explain to me the difference between the two and clarify what she meant? I'm still confused.
Posted Fri, 22 Mar 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 32 minutes later

Thank you for posting your query.

Mononeuritis multiplex and CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating poly radiculopathy) are both disorders of the peripheral nerves, but they are not the same.

In mononeuritis multiplex, there is asymmetric involvement of peripheral nerves. This means that one arm or one leg nerves are more affected than the other limb. Whereas in CIDP, the involvement of nerves is symmetric, equal involvement of nerves on both sides (arms and legs).

Also, in CIDP, legs are more affected than arms, whereas in mononeuritis multiplex, either of arms or legs may be more affected.

CIDP usually has no known cause (it is believed to be an auto immune disease, due to antibodies), but mononeuritis multiplex has known causes, such as diabetes, leprosy and vasculitis (inflammation of small blood vessels of nerves).

Initial treatment may be similar in both conditions, with steroids. However, long term treatment, as well as prognosis differ.

I hope it helps. Please get back if you require any additional information.

Wishing you good health,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist
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