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Quality Of Life In Patients With Cryoglobulinemic Polyneuropathy

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The assessment of severity of polyneuropathy is usually based on the findings of neurological and electrophysiological examination, which however do not reflect overall function. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measurements aim to measure the impact of a disease on the daily life of a patient, and are expecially useful in chronic diseases, however are seldom used in neuromuscular diseases. It was previously reported that HRQOL assessment may be useful in diabetic neuropathy, chronic idiopathic axonal polyneuropathy, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. The aim of this study was to determine whether HRQOL is reduced in cryoglobulinemic polyneuropathy, and whether its measurements add useful information to the assessment of severity of polyneuropathy. We studied 12 patients (10 females, 2 males) with symptomatic cryoglobulinemic neuropathy (HCV-related in all patients but 1), confirmed by neurophysiological study, and 10 non-neuropathic patients (4 females, 6 males) with HCV-related mixed cryoglobulinemia. HRQOL was assessed using the self-administered 36-item Short Form Health Survey Questionnaire (SF-36). The neuropathy patients had lower scores (impaired HRQOL) than the other cryoglobulinemic patients on “physical functioning”, “pain”, and “vitality.” Both neuropathic and non-neuropathic patients with cryoglobulinemia rated worse than the reference population on “role limitation due to physical problems” and “general health perception.” We conclude that the severity of neuropathy may be measured with a general HRQOL instrument, which provides additional information about the impact of the disease on the general functioning of the patient, and it may be useful in rehabilitation and counseling of neuropathic patients.
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Document Type: Abstract

Affiliations: Istituto di Neurologia, Università de Parma - Parma.

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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