An accurate CIDP diagnosis is dependent on tests like an EMG, MRI, or nerve conduction test, to name a few
It can be a challenge to diagnose CIDP because its symptoms resemble those of other nervous system disorders. Because of the similarities with symptoms of other disorders, it can take several months to obtain an accurate diagnosis of CIDP. However, there are some tests and tools doctors use to help assess patients.1
In most cases a diagnosis will come from a neurologist or a neuromuscular specialist whom you will have been referred to by another doctor.
If CIDP is caught early enough, it can be treated, depending on your specific case.
The sooner you are evaluated by a neuromuscular specialist or neurologist who is familiar with CIDP, the sooner you can begin treatment.
Tools and tests used to assess and diagnose CIDP:
Your doctor will typically review your medical history and ask you a variety of questions about your symptoms, including when they started, where you feel them and how long you've had them. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Your doctor will then perform a physical exam.2
During your initial appointment, your doctor will perform a physical exam to evaluate your symptoms and may also collect blood samples for laboratory testing. The physical exam will evaluate things such as your strength, sensations, reflexes, gait, and coordination. This will help your doctor get familiar with your overall state of health and help rule out or identify certain conditions.2
NCS is an important test that measures how well your nerves send signals to different parts of your body. During the test, the nerve is stimulated with mild electrical impulses, usually with surface electrode patches attached to the skin.1,3
This procedure measures the health of muscles and the nerves that control them. During a needle EMG, a needle electrode inserted directly into a muscle records the electrical activity in that muscle. The test results help reveal how severe your nerve damage is and how much recovery may be expected.4
This is an optional medical procedure where a needle is inserted into the lower part of the spine to obtain a small sample of the liquid surrounding your spinal cord. This procedure tests for conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, or other parts of the nervous system.5
This is an optional test that uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to make pictures of the spinal cord and nerve bundles. An MRI can help in the diagnosis of CIDP by detecting damage to the nerves.6
This is an optional and rarely performed procedure where a sample of a nerve is taken from your body and looked at under a microscope. A nerve biopsy can be done to either confirm CIDP or rule out other conditions.1,7