Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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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