The cause of POEMS syndrome isn't known. But people with POEMS syndrome have an increased number of plasma cells. These cells produce an abnormal amount of a type of protein, which can damage other parts of the body.
Mayo Clinic doctors specializing in blood disorders (hematologists) have experience diagnosing POEMS syndrome. Your Mayo specialist will start with a thorough medical history and physical examination. Blood and urine samples will be taken to check your protein and hormone levels.
Based on the results, you may then have:
- Imaging tests, including a computerized tomography (CT) or positron emission tomography (PET) scan, to check for bone abnormalities.
- Bone marrow biopsy, in which a small sample of your bone marrow is removed and tested. Special stains (immunohistochemistry) may be used to better detect problems with the plasma cells in your blood.
Depending on your signs and symptoms, you may have further evaluation by doctors specializing in the brain and nervous system (neurology), eyes (ophthalmology), hormonal disorders (endocrinology), lungs (pulmonary medicine), and physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Read more about CT scan, PET scan and biopsy.
July 17, 2014
- AskMayoExpert. What are the signs and symptoms of POEMS syndrome? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Daroff RB, et al. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Saunders; 2012. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 29, 2014.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. POEMS syndrome. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Dispenzieri A. POEMS syndrome: 2014 update on diagnosis, risk-stratification and management. American Journal of Hematology. 2014;89:213.
- Rajkumar SV. POEMS syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 29, 2014.
- POEMS syndrome. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/gard/7411/poems-syndrome/resources/1. Accessed April 29, 2014.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 12, 2014.
- D'Souza A, et al. Long-term outcomes after autologous stem cell transplantation for patients with POEMS syndrome (osteosclerotic myeloma): A single-center experience. Blood. 2012;120:56.
- Humeniuk MS, et al. Outcomes of patients with POEMS syndrome treated initially with radiation. Blood. 2013;122:68.
- Dispenzieri A. How I treat POEMS syndrome. Blood. 2012;119:5650.