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Neuropathy is common in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM, an IgM-associated lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma) and in IgM-monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (IgM-MGUS). Paraneoplastic or paraimmune mechanisms are thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of these neuropathies. Attempts at distinguishing WM and IgM-MGUS neuropathies are lacking especially among bone marrow (BM) confirmed patients.
Retrospective analyses were performed on BM confirmed WM (N=30) and IgM-MGUS (N=73) neuropathy patients with neurologic assessments and hematologic features.
The presence of anemia and quantity of IgM monoclonal protein were significantly greater in WM. Based on multiple neurologic assessments differences were not found for: 1) length of time from neurologic symptom onset to evaluation; 2) chief complaint of painless loss of feeling in the feet, Romberg's sign and tremor; and 3) clinical motor, sensory and reflex abnormalities. Autonomic testing was normal in both diseases. Using nerve conduction (NCS) criteria for demyelination, 62% of IgM-MGUS and 27% of WM met this criteria (p=0.013). IgM MGUS patients had greater terminal conduction slowing by ulnar residual latency calculation (<0.01). The degree of axonal loss as measured by summated compound muscle action potentials and available nerve biopsy was not significantly different between diseases.
Although WM and IgM-MGUS must be distinguished for hematologic prognosis and treatment, clinical neuropathy presentations of WM and IgM-MGUS are similar and likely related to comparable axonal loss in both conditions. Despite these similarities, evidence of demyelination was found by electrophysiologic studies much more commonly in IgM-MGUS. This difference may reflect varied immune mechanism(s) in the two disorders.
For the conduct of controlled clinical trials, epidemiologic surveys or even of medical practice of varieties of peripheral neuropathy, the usefulness, error rate and cost-effectiveness of scannable case-report forms has not been studied. Materials and
The overall performance, the frequency of the problems identified and corrected, and the time saved from use of a standard paper case report form was evaluated in multicenter treatment trials, single center epidemiologic surveys and in our neurologic practice. The paper case report form (Clinical Neuropathy Assessment [CNA]) for pen entry at study medical centers for patient, disease and demographic information (Lower Limb Function [LLF] and Neuropathy Impairment Score [NIS]) can be faxed to a core Reading and Quality Assurance Center where the form and data is electronically and interactively evaluated and corrected, if needed, by participating medical centers before electronic entry into database.
Observations and conclusions:
1) The approach provides a standard, scannable paper case report form for pen entry of neuropathy symptoms, impairments and disability at the bedside or in the office which is retained as a source document at the participating medical center but a facsimile can be transferred instantaneously, its data can be programmed, interactively evaluated, modified and stored while maintaining an audit trail; 2) it allowed efficient and accurate reading, transfer, analysis, and storage of data of more than 15,000 forms used in multicenter trials; 3) in 500 consecutive CNA evaluations, software programs identified and facilitated interactive corrections of omissions, discrepancies, and disease and study inconsistencies, introducing only a few readily identified and corrected entry errors; and 4) use of programmed, as compared to non-programmed assessment, was more accurate than double keyboard entry of data and was approximately five times faster.
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