POEMS syndrome history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Syed Hassan A. Kazmi BSc, MD [2]


Patients suffering from POEMS syndrome may have variable presentation and can present a diagnostic challenge for the clinician due to non-specific symptomology. Common symptoms of POEMS syndrome include numbness, tingling and weakness affecting extremities, fatigue, generalized pain in the body, foot drop, blurred vision, peripheral edema, dyspnea and hyperpigmentation. Less common symptoms include muscle weakness, diplopia, ocular pain and ascites.

History and Symptoms


Common Symptoms

Common symptoms of POEMS syndrome include the following:[3][4][5][6][7][8]

Less Common Symptoms

Less common symptoms of POEMS syndrome include the following:[9][10]


  1. Dispenzieri A, Kyle RA, Lacy MQ, Rajkumar SV, Therneau TM, Larson DR, Greipp PR, Witzig TE, Basu R, Suarez GA, Fonseca R, Lust JA, Gertz MA (April 2003). "POEMS syndrome: definitions and long-term outcome". Blood. 101 (7): 2496–506. doi:10.1182/blood-2002-07-2299. PMID 12456500.
  2. Li J, Zhou DB, Huang Z, Jiao L, Duan MH, Zhang W, Zhao YQ, Shen T (July 2011). "Clinical characteristics and long-term outcome of patients with POEMS syndrome in China". Ann. Hematol. 90 (7): 819–26. doi:10.1007/s00277-010-1149-0. PMID 21221584.
  3. Dispenzieri A (February 2014). "POEMS syndrome: 2014 update on diagnosis, risk-stratification, and management". Am. J. Hematol. 89 (2): 214–23. doi:10.1002/ajh.23644. PMID 24532337.
  4. Dispenzieri A, Buadi FK (December 2013). "A review of POEMS syndrome". Oncology (Williston Park, N.Y.). 27 (12): 1242–50. PMID 24624542.
  5. Cui RT, Yu SY, Huang XS, Zhang JT, Li F, Pu CQ (December 2013). "The characteristics of ascites in patients with POEMS syndrome". Ann. Hematol. 92 (12): 1661–4. doi:10.1007/s00277-013-1829-7. PMID 23811954.
  6. Bardwick PA, Zvaifler NJ, Gill GN, Newman D, Greenway GD, Resnick DL (July 1980). "Plasma cell dyscrasia with polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M protein, and skin changes: the POEMS syndrome. Report on two cases and a review of the literature". Medicine (Baltimore). 59 (4): 311–22. PMID 6248720.
  7. Miest RY, Comfere NI, Dispenzieri A, Lohse CM, el-Azhary RA (November 2013). "Cutaneous manifestations in patients with POEMS syndrome". Int. J. Dermatol. 52 (11): 1349–56. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2012.05648.x. PMID 23557151.
  8. Cui R, Yu S, Huang X, Zhang J, Tian C, Pu C (January 2014). "Papilloedema is an independent prognostic factor for POEMS syndrome". J. Neurol. 261 (1): 60–5. doi:10.1007/s00415-013-7143-4. PMID 24141729.
  9. Soubrier MJ, Dubost JJ, Sauvezie BJ (December 1994). "POEMS syndrome: a study of 25 cases and a review of the literature. French Study Group on POEMS Syndrome". Am. J. Med. 97 (6): 543–53. PMID 7985714.
  10. "POEMS Syndrome - NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders)".

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