Serum neurofilament light chain in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy

Gwen G. A. van Lieverloo, Luuk Wieske, Camiel Verhamme, Alexander F. J. Vrancken, Pieter A. van Doorn, Zuzanna Michalak, Christian Barro, Ivo N. van Schaik, Jens Kuhle, Filip Eftimov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Axonal damage in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is the main predictor of poor outcome. We hypothesized that serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) reflects disease activity by detecting ongoing neuro-axonal damage in CIDP. Three prospective cohorts of CIDP patients were studied: (a) patients starting induction treatment (IT cohort, N = 29) measured at baseline and 6 months after starting treatment; (b) patients on maintenance treatment (MT) starting intravenous immunoglobuline (IVIg) withdrawal (MT cohort, N = 24) measured at baseline and 6 months after IVIg withdrawal or at time of relapse; and (c) patients in long-term remission without treatment (N = 27). A single molecule array assay was used to measure sNfL. Age-matched healthy controls (N = 30) and age-specific reference values were used for comparison. At baseline, sNfL was higher in patients starting IT compared to healthy controls. Ten out of 29 IT (34%) patients have sNfL levels above the 95th percentile of age-specific cut-off values. In the MT and remission cohort, elevated sNfL levels were infrequent and not different from healthy controls. sNfL levels were correlated with electrophysiological markers of axonal damage. At follow-up assessment, patients with active disease (non-responders and patients who relapsed after IVIg withdrawal) had higher sNfL levels compared with patients with stable disease (responders and patients who were successfully withdrawn from IVIg treatment). sNfL levels were increased in a third of CIDP patients starting IT and reflected axonal damage. sNfL levels might be usable as biomarker of disease activity in a subset of CIDP patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-194
JournalJournal of the peripheral nervous system
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Cite this