Withdrawal of intravenous immunoglobulin in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy

M.E. Adrichem, I.M. Lucke, A.F.J.E. Vrancken, H.S. Goedee, L. Wieske, M.G.W. Dijkgraaf, N.C. Voermans, N.C. Notermans, C.G. Faber, L.H. Visser, K. Kuitwaard, P.A. van Doorn, I.S.J. Merkies, R.J. de Haan, I.N. van Schaik, F. Eftimov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Intravenous immunoglobulins are an efficacious treatment for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy. Biomarkers for disease activity are lacking, making the need for ongoing treatment difficult to assess, leading to potential overtreatment and high health-care costs. Our objective was to determine whether intravenous immunoglobulin withdrawal is non-inferior to continuing intravenous immunoglobulin treatment and to determine how often patients are overtreated.We performed a randomized, double-blind, intravenous immunoglobulin-controlled non-inferiority trial in seven centres in the Netherlands (Trial registration: ISRCTN 13637698; www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN13637698) . Adults with clinically stable chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy using intravenous immunoglobulin maintenance treatment for at least 6 months were included. Patients received either intravenous immunoglobulin withdrawal (placebo) as investigational treatment or continuation of intravenous immunoglobulin treatment (control). The primary outcome was the mean change in logit scores from baseline to 24-week follow-up on the patient-reported Inflammatory Rasch-Overall Disability Scale. The non-inferiority margin was predefined as between-group difference in mean change scores of -0.65. Patients who deteriorated could reach a relapse end point according to predefined criteria. Patients with a relapse end point after intravenous immunoglobulin withdrawal entered a restabilization phase. All patients from the withdrawal group who remained stable were included in an openlabel extension phase of 52 weeks.We included 60 patients, of whom 29 were randomized to intravenous immunoglobulin withdrawal and 31 to continuation of treatment. The mean age was 58 years (SD 14.7) and 67% was male. The between-group difference in mean change Inflammatory Rasch-Overall Disability Scale scores was -0.47 (95% CI -1.24 to 0.31), indicating that non-inferiority of intravenous immunoglobulin withdrawal could not be established. In the intravenous immunoglobulin withdrawal group, 41% remained stable for 24 weeks, compared to 58% in the intravenous immunoglobulin continuation group (-17%; 95% CI -39 to 8). Of the intravenous immunoglobulin withdrawal group, 28% remained stable at the end of the extension phase. Of the patients in the restabilization phase, 94% restabilized within 12 weeks. In conclusion, it remains inconclusive whether intravenous immunoglobulin withdrawal is non-inferior compared to continuing treatment, partly due to larger than expected confidence intervals leading to an underpowered study. Despite these limitations, a considerable proportion of patients could stop treatment and almost all patients who relapsed were restabilized quickly. Unexpectedly, a high proportion of intravenous immunoglobulin-treated patients experienced a relapse end point, emphasizing the need for more objective measures for disease activity in future trials, as the patient-reported outcome measures might not have been able to identify true relapses reliably. Overall, this study suggests that withdrawal attempts are safe and should be performed regularly in clinically stable patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1641-1652
Number of pages12
Issue number5
Early online date9 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2022


  • CIDP
  • IVIg
  • overtreatment
  • withdrawal
  • TIME
  • IVIG


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