POEMS Syndrome :Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

 What Is POEMS Syndrome?

POEMS syndrome is a blood ailment that affects more than one structure inside the frame. In this uncommon circumstance, strange plasma cells cause multiplied degrees of antibody proteins to accumulate inside the blood. Having too many of these proteins inside the blood can harm nerves and cause several organ systems to malfunction.

What Is POEMS Syndrome?
POEMS Syndrome

POEMS syndrome is rare and may be life-threatening. It is also known as osteosclerotic myeloma, Crow-Fukase syndrome and Takatsuki syndrome.

POEMS syndrome is a very uncommon paraneoplastic syndrome. Paraneoplastic syndromes are caused by an atypical immune reaction to a cancerous tumor (neoplasm) where the body accidently assaults ordinary cells inside the fearful gadget. POEMS is an acronym that stands for the disease’s five essential signs and symptoms and symptoms, which encompass Polyneuropathy, Organomegaly, Endocrinopathy, Monoclonal gammopathy and Skin abnormalities. Common signs and symptoms include revolutionary weak spot of the nerves in the legs and arms (sensorimotor polyneuropathy), an abnormally enlarged liver and/or spleen (hepatosplenomegaly), enlarged lymph nodes (lymphadenitis), darkening of the pores and skin (hyperpigmentation), thickening of the pores and skin and excessive hair increase (hypertrichosis).

POEMS syndrome takes place 1.Five instances occur more often amongst guys than women, and the typical age of onset is adults in their 50s. The actual reason for POEMS syndrome is unknown, however research suggests that a chemical referred to as VEGF (vascular endothelial boom aspect) performs a vital position in this disease.

  1. Medical And Anatomical Concept Of The Human Body

Medical terms

The POEMS syndrome (polyneuropathy organomegaly endocrinopathy monoclonal gammopathy and skin changes) is an unusual presentation of a monoclonal gammopathy The acronym is used to describe the characteristic findings in patients with this blood disorder: * Polyneuropathy: Involves damage to peripheral nerves Symptoms often begin with pain or numbness in the hands and feet that can move up the arms and legs overtime Loss of reflexes also may occur Because damage to nerve fibers affects everything from movement to sensation and feeling it can cause muscle weakness problems with coordination balance and walking as well as pain.

POEMS syndrome is a rare genetic disorder associated with the overproduction of immune cells that can damage various organs including the skin kidneys and lungs The syndrome occurs when a person has polyneuropathy (nerve damage affecting many areas of the body) organomegaly (abnormal enlargement or growth of internal organs) and endocrinopathy (hormone gland dysfunction).

POEMS syndrome is a rare blood disorder that damages your nerves and affects other parts of your body. POEMS stands for these signs and symptoms:

  • Polyneuropathy. Numbness, tingling and weak spot for your legs — and over the years, maybe on your hands — and difficulty breathing. This is a vital feature inside the diagnosis of POEMS syndrome.

  • Organomegaly. Enlarged spleen, liver or lymph nodes.

  • Endocrinopathy/edema. Abnormal hormone stages that could result in an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), diabetes, sexual troubles, fatigue, swelling on your limbs, and issues with metabolism and different crucial capabilities.

  • Monoclonal-protein. Abnormal bone marrow cells (plasma cells) that produce a protein (monoclonal protein) that may be observed in the bloodstream. This is a crucial characteristic in the prognosis of POEMS syndrome. Monoclonal-protein is often associated with unusual bone hardening or thickening.

  • Skin changes. More shade than normal in your skin, crimson spots, likely thicker pores and skin, and multiplied facial or leg hair.

The motive of POEMS syndrome isn't always acknowledged. But human beings with POEMS syndrome have an increased variety of plasma cells. These cells produce an atypical amount of a sort of protein that can damage different parts of the body.

POEMS syndrome can be misdiagnosed due to the fact the symptoms and signs and symptoms mimic the ones of other problems. POEMS syndrome progresses hastily without remedy and might end up life-threatening, so early diagnosis is crucial.

Treatment for POEMS syndrome would possibly enhance your signs but doesn't cure the circumstance. Treatment alternatives encompass radiation remedy, chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. The outlook for humans with POEMS syndrome has stepped forward substantially over the last decade or so.

Symptoms POEMS Syndrome

POEMS syndrome is a rare, multisystem paraneoplastic syndrome. POEMS stands for some of the principal signs and symptoms associated with the sickness. The important standards for POEMS syndrome encompass polyneuropathy, monoclonal gammopathy and both osteosclerotic lesion, Castleman disorder, or expanded stages of vascular endothelial increase element (VEGF) in addition to as a minimum one minor criterion listed below.

Summary of symptoms recognized in sufferers with POEMS syndrome:


Polyneuropathy is a disorder affecting nerves all through the frame. Symptoms of polyneuropathy include:

  • Weakness, pain, numbness and/or tingling in toes, feet, legs and hands

  • Burning, tickling, numbness and prickling of the skin (paresthesia)

  • Reduced muscle response to stimuli (areflexia)


Organomegaly is the strange expansion of an organ or organs within the body. Symptoms of organomegaly in patients with POEMS syndrome encompass:

  • Abnormally large liver (hepatomegaly)

  • Abnormally enlarged spleen (splenomegaly)

  • Abnormally enlarged lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)

  • Swollen lymph nodes (Castleman disease or angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia)


Endocrinopathy is while atypical hormone ranges are produced through the endocrine gadget (machine of glands that secrete hormones into the blood). Symptoms of endocrinopathy in POEMS syndrome patients consist of:

  • Low production of sex hormones (hypogonadism)

  • Trouble regulating blood sugar (diabetes mellitus or impaired glucose tolerance)

  • Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)

  • Abnormal function of the adrenal glands (primary adrenal insufficiency)

  • Males can also experience:

    • Enlargement of breasts (gynecomastia)

    • Impotence (erectile dysfunction)

  • Females can also experience:

    • Absent menstrual cycle (amenorrhea)

    • Increased breast development and circulation of prolactin, a milk producing hormone

    • Abnormal discharge of milk from nipples (galactorrhea)

Monoclonal gammopathy

Monoclonal gammopathy is when bizarre bone marrow cells (plasma cells) that produce a protein (monoclonal protein) may be observed within the bloodstream. Plasma cells are a key element of the immune gadget however overproduction of these cells in individuals with POEMS syndrome may result in those symptoms:

  • Abnormal plasma cells that produce monoclonal protein

  • Overabundance of M-proteins in the blood

  • Formation of plasma cell tumors (plasmacytomas)

  • Bone thickening or hardening (osteosclerosis)

Skin abnormalities

  • Abnormal darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation)

  • Excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis)

  • Thickening of the skin (scleroderma)

  • Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)

  • Blue or dusty looking extremities (acrocyanosis)

  • White discoloration of nails (leukonychia)

  • Outcropping of cherry angiomata

  • Clubbed fingernails

  • Fat wasting notable at temples (lipodystrophy)

Additional blood abnormalities

  • Elevated level of platelets (thrombocytosis)

  • Elevated number of red blood cells (polycythemia)

  • Blood clots in arteries (arterial thrombosis)

  • Blood clots in veins (venous thrombosis)

  • High blood pressure in arteries of the lungs (pulmonary arterial hypertension)

Breathing problems

  • Fluid in the lungs (pleural effusion)

  • Muscle weakness which can lead to trouble breathing (respiratory insufficiency)

  • Reduced total lung capacity (restrictive ventilatory defect)

Other Symptoms

    • Swelling of the optic nerve at the back of the eye which could result in visual disturbances, headaches and nausea (papilledema)

    • Fluid around the heart (pericardial effusion)

    • Fluid in the arms and legs (edema)

    • Fluid in the peritoneal cavity of the abdomen (ascites)

    • Weight loss

    • Fatigue

Causes POEMS Syndrome

Abnormal growth of antibody making cells known as plasma cells that stay for your bones. No one knows what causes those plasma cells to grow abnormally.

The actual cause of POEMS syndrome is unknown. POEMS syndrome is related to an overproduction of molecules that sell irritation thru cell-to-cellular verbal exchange (seasoned-inflammatory cytokines). Studies have demonstrated abnormally excessive levels of vascular endothelial boom element (VEGF) and pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-6, interleukin-1 and TNF-alpha inside the blood of people with POEMS syndrome. Cytokines are proteins that are produced via the frame’s immune gadget in response to inflammation. More studies are needed to decide the precise role cytokines and VEGF play within the improvement of POEMS syndrome.

Risk factors POEMS Syndrome

There are no known risk factors for POEMS syndrome.

What age do you get POEMS syndrome?

Most people with POEMS syndrome develop the condition in their 40s but it can occur as early as the late 30s and as late as the 60s.

What is POEMS in medical terms?

While the term POEMS syndrome is relatively new the association of these five symptoms with a specific kind of cancer is not The constellation of findings in POEMS syndrome has been observed for decades but it was only recently that researchers clarified all five components and gave them a name.

What is monoclonal gammopathy?

Monoclonal gammopathy also known as MGUS is a benign condition in which certain white blood cells are larger than normal and have an abnormal number of protein molecules These proteins form clumps in the blood hence the term "monoclonal." People with MGUS have no symptoms and are unaware that they have an abnormality In most people with MGUS the condition remains stable for many years In a few people it progresses over time to multiple myeloma an incurable cancer of plasma cells In others it lasts a long time without progressing or leads to another disease such as lymphoma.

Prevention POEMS Syndrome

Because medical doctors do not know what causes the terrible plasma cells that cause POEMS syndrome, you can not save it.The outlook for people with POEMS syndrome varies depending on the parts of the body affected and the diploma to which they're affected. Effective remedy in order to kill the terrible plasma cells will lengthen survival. Treatment can also ease signs and symptoms to improve your high-quality of life.

Diagnosis POEMS Syndrome

Patients suspected of getting POEMS syndrome have to go through an intensive clinical assessment to include a physical exam, medical records assessment and laboratory checking out. The certain bodily exam includes examination of the eyes, skin and neurological repute as well as overall function of organs and body.

Confirmation of certain immunologic abnormalities plays a crucial role in establishing the diagnosis of POEMS syndrome. Laboratory assessments performed on the blood (serum) or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may reveal extended degrees of M-proteins and blood plasma may also show excessive ranges of vascular endothelial growth aspect (VEGF). Skeletal imaging can be finished to locate osteosclerotic lesions function of POEMS syndrome. In many sufferers, surgical removal (biopsy) and microscopic exam of small samples of tissue from an osteosclerotic lesion or a bone marrow biopsy will monitor the strange presence of monoclonal plasma cells.

In order to be identified with POEMS syndrome, someone has to give both polyneuropathy and monoclonal plasma cell proliferative sickness similar to 1 foremost criterion and one minor criterion. The different principal standards for POEMS syndrome include osteosclerotic lesion, Castleman disease, and elevated levels of vascular endothelial growth component (VEGF). Minor criteria for POEMS syndrome encompass expansion of organs (organomegaly), extracellular fluid accumulation (peripheral edema, ascites, or pleural effusion), endocrinopathy, skin modifications, swelling of the optic disc (papilledema) and multiplied blood cell remember (polycythemia or thrombocytosis).

A doctor diagnoses POEMS syndrome with a medical history and several tests. These tests include:

  • Biopsy: A physician takes a pattern of bone marrow and looks at it for peculiar plasma cells.

  • Electromyogram (EMG): This is a special test that measures nerve function.

  • Blood and/or urine tests: A health practitioner takes a sample of blood or urine to test the stages of proteins and different materials.

  • Imaging: Tests along with X-rays and CT scans allow medical doctors to look for bone lesions (bizarre thickening or hardening).

  • Physical exam: During a physical examination, a doctor appears for bodily signs of POEMS syndrome, along with swelling, pores and skin modifications, and organs which can be larger than regular.

  • Other tests as necessary: These might include breathing tests, echocardiograms, or endocrine tests, depending on symptoms.

Treatment POEMS Syndrome

Current treatments for POEMS syndrome consciousness on improvement of signs and might cause proper analysis in sufferers.

The use of ionizing radiation (radiotherapy) or surgical removal (excision) of osteosclerotic lesions which can be localized (no longer unfold at some point of the frame) may also briefly or completely lead to remission of signs and symptoms related to POEMS syndrome.

In many sufferers, consisting of people with full-size unusual hardening of bone (osteosclerotic lesions) or diffuse bone marrow involvement, therapy with positive anticancer capsules (alkylating chemotherapy agents) may additionally alleviate symptoms related to POEMS syndrome.

Some sufferers with massive ailment may receive excessive doses of chemotherapy accompanied by an infusion of healthful blood stem cells from their own body (autologous stem cellular transplant). Additional treatment options used to deal with POEMS syndrome include lenalidomide, thalidomide and bortezomib relying on a patient’s disorder route. Other remedies such as physical therapy and medicinal drugs to alleviate swelling can help with improving mobility and different symptoms of POEMS syndrome.

Treatment for POEMS syndrome aims to manage symptoms. Therapy may include:

  • Chemotherapy: Anti-most cancers tablets will sluggish or put off the extraordinary plasma cells. Treatment is similar to the treatment of a cancer of the plasma mobile known as a couple of myeloma. These treatments are extraordinarily effective and usually nicely tolerated with few side effects. There also are capsules known as immunotherapy that help your immune gadget kill off the bad plasma cells.

  • Radiation therapy: Doctors use high levels of radiation to kill the bad plasma cells.

  • Physical therapy: This remedy may also assist with mobility troubles brought on by neuropathy.

  • Other medications. Steroids and/or diuretics (to alleviate swelling) will also be recommended.

General summary

  1. POEMS syndrome is a persistent ailment and the analysis relies upon the extent of the ailment and an individual’s reaction to remedy. There is not any well known treatment for POEMS syndrome. Treatment alternatives for sufferers diagnosed with POEMS syndrome consist of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or hematopoietic cellular transplantation. The median survival for patients with POEMS syndrome is extra than14 years.

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