Multifocal motor neuropathy improved by IVIg: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study
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OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of IV immunoglobulin (IVIg) on neurologic function and electrophysiologic studies in multifocal motor neuropathy with conduction block (MMN). BACKGROUND: MMN is characterized by progressive, asymmetric, lower motor neuron weakness and is probably immune-mediated. IVIg treatment has been shown to have beneficial effects in several open-label studies and in one small controlled trial. However, larger randomized controlled studies are lacking. METHODS: The authors recruited 16 patients with MMN. All subjects were given each of two treatments (IVIg [0.4 g/kg/d for 5 consecutive days] or placebo [dextrose or saline]) that were assigned according to a randomized, crossover design under double-blind conditions. Patients were evaluated before and about 28 days after trial treatment for subjective functional improvement, neurologic disability score, grip strength, distal and proximal compound muscle action potential amplitude, and conduction block. RESULTS: Subjective functional improvement with IVIg treatment was rated as dramatic or very good in nine patients, moderate in one, mild in one, and absent in five patients. This improvement was absent after placebo. The neurologic disability score improved by 6.7+/-3.3 points with IVIg treatment, whereas it decreased by 2.1+/-3.0 with placebo (p = 0.038). Grip strength on the weaker side was increased by 6.4+/-1.9 kg with IVIg treatment; it decreased by 1.0+/-0.8 kg with placebo (p = 0.0021). Conduction block worsened by 12.98+/-6.52 % with placebo, but improved by 12.68+/-5.62 % with IVIg treatment (p = 0.037). Conduction block was reversed in five patients with IVIg but not placebo. CONCLUSION: IVIg improved conduction block as well as subjective and objective clinical measures of function in patients with MMN.
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