Brain Behav. 2022 Jul 21:e2712. doi: 10.1002/brb3.2712. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Fatigue is a common but poorly understood complaint in patients with immune-mediated polyneuropathies. We sought to evaluate changes in fatigue over 1 year in a cohort of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) patients and to correlate changes in fatigue with changes in disability and quality of life. Investigation into other factors that may contribute to fatigue with a particular interest in the role other chronic disease states may play was also performed.
METHODS: Fifty patients with CIDP who satisfied the 2010 EFNS/PNS diagnostic criteria were followed over the period of 1 year at three tertiary care centers in Serbia. Assessments of disability, quality of life, and patient perception of change and fatigue were collected at two time points 12 months apart. Comorbidities, treatment regimens, and sedating medication use was collected.
RESULTS: Disability, quality of life, and patient perception of change showed statistically significant correlations with change in fatigue (p < .01). Increased levels of fatigue were noted in patients who used sedating medications (p = .05) and who had a comorbid chronic medical condition (p = .01).
INTERPRETATION: Worsening fatigue correlates over time with increased disability and worse quality of life. Fatigue is not specific to CIDP, but is common in many chronic medical conditions and with the use of sedating medications. Our findings support the importance of identifying and supportively managing fatigue in patients with CIDP, but cautions against considering fatigue as a CIDP diagnostic symptom or using fatigue to justify immunotherapy utilization.