Autoimmune Neuropathies - Neuropathic Disease
Autoimmune neuropathies present with a broad range of symptoms, including subacute progression, asymmetric or multifocal deficits, and selective involvement of motor, sensory, or autonomic nerves. The overlap of symptoms among syndromes often makes diagnosis difficult. Presumptive diagnosis is based on patient history and clinical presentation. Initial laboratory testing aims to rule out underlying etiologies, including potential infection, metabolic disturbances, and brain tumors; if nothing is uncovered, further evaluation, including imaging, nerve conduction studies, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis may be required. Autoimmune neuropathies can also arise as paraneoplastic disorders in the setting of cancer; refer to the Paraneoplastic Neurological Syndromes and Associated Disorders topic for more information. The detection of an autoantibody in the right clinical setting provides some evidence that the peripheral nerve disturbance is immune mediated and may direct treatment, but antibody testing cannot be used as the sole diagnostic tool.
Last Update: January 2019