Polyneuropathy, Organomegaly, Endocrinopathy, M-protein, Skin changes (POEMS) syndrome is a rare disorder with multiple presentations and a constellation of symptoms. We present a 62year-old female who presented to the Emergency Department for acute dyspnea. Chest Xray showed sclerotic lesions in the ribs and thoracic spine. Further imaging studies with computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans were suggestive of a benign process. Improvement was seen with supportive management. A few months later, patient developed neurological symptoms with reduced exercise tolerance. Mixed demyelinating and axonal polyneuropathy was diagnosed by electromyography. Further work up with bone marrow biopsy and immunochemistry testing revealed lambda and kappa plasma cell disorder, with elevated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Patient was diagnosed with POEMS and initiated on chemotherapy. POEMS syndrome is commonly missed due to its rarity and varied clinical presentations. VEGF plays a crucial role in the diagnosis. Management requires a multidisciplinary approach.
Oyenuga, Mosunmoluwa; Mohamed, Mohamed M. G.; Patel, Rushin; Sartaj, Sara; Sen, Sandeep; Lacasse, Alexandre; and Kumar, Vikas
"POEMS syndrome - a diagnostic dilemma with challenging presentation,"
Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives: Vol. 12:
6, Article 10.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.gbmc.org/jchimp/vol12/iss6/10