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    POEMS Syndrome

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report POEMS Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Synonyms

    • Shimpo syndrome
    • Crow-Fukase syndrome
    • Takatsuki syndrome
    • PEP syndrome
    • polyneuropathy-organomegaly-endocrinopathy-M protein-skin lesions
    • osteosclerotic myeloma

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • None

    General Discussion

    Summary
    POEMS syndrome is an extremely rare multisystem disorder. POEMS is an acronym that stands for (P)olyneuropathy, disease affecting many nerves; (O)rganomegaly, abnormal enlargement of an organ; (E)ndocrinopathy, disease affecting certain hormone-producing glands that help to regulate sexual function, and certain metabolic functions; (M)onoclonal gammopathy or M proteins; and (S)kin abnormalities. Common symptoms include progressive weakness of the nerves in the legs and arms, an abnormally enlarged liver and/or spleen (hepatosplenomegaly), enlarged lymph nodes, abnormally darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation), thickening of the skin and excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis). Endocrine abnormalities such as failure of the ovaries and testes (gonads) to function properly (primary gonadal failure) and diabetes mellitus may be present. Specific endocrine abnormalities associated with POEMS syndrome vary from case to case. Other important features of the disease include swelling around the optic nerve (papilledema), abnormal fluid retention, which may occur in the ankles (edema), the abdominal cavity (ascites), or around the lungs (pleural effusions), painless scars on bone x-ray (osteosclerosis), and an elevated platelet count (a blood cell responsible for clotting). Some patients may also have abnormalities in the lung function tests, which may not be noticed because of their inability to walk well due to their neuropathy.

    Introduction
    POEMS syndrome is associated with a group of disorders known as monoclonal gammopathies or plasma cell dyscrasias. These disorders are characterized the uncontrolled growth of a single clone (monoclonal) of plasma cells, which results in the abnormal accumulation of M-proteins (also known as immunoglobulins) in the blood. Immunoglobulins in health fight infection. However, the specific role M-proteins play and the exact cause of POEMS syndrome is unknown. Research would suggest that a chemical called VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) plays an important role in this disease.

    Resources

    American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
    22100 Gratiot Ave.
    Eastpointe, MI 48021
    Tel: (586)776-3900
    Fax: (586)776-3903
    Tel: (800)598-4668
    Email: aarda@aarda.org
    Internet: http://www.aarda.org/

    NIH/Child Health and Human Development - Section on Endocrinology and Genetics
    Bldg 31, Room 2A32, MSC 2425
    31 Center Drive
    Bethesda, MD 20892-2425
    Tel: (301)402-1998
    Fax: (301)402-2984
    Email: stratakc@exchange.nih.gov
    Internet: http://segen.nichd.nih.gov/index.html

    NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
    Information Clearinghouse
    One AMS Circle
    Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
    USA
    Tel: (301)495-4484
    Fax: (301)718-6366
    Tel: (877)226-4267
    TDD: (301)565-2966
    Email: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www.niams.nih.gov/

    NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
    P.O. Box 5801
    Bethesda, MD 20824
    Tel: (301)496-5751
    Fax: (301)402-2186
    Tel: (800)352-9424
    TDD: (301)468-5981
    Internet: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

    Neuropathy Association
    60 East 42nd Street
    Suite 942
    New York, NY 10165
    USA
    Tel: (212)692-0662
    Fax: (212)692-0668
    Email: info@neuropathy.org
    Internet: http://www.neuropathy.org

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    Center for Peripheral Neuropathy
    University of Chicago
    5841 South Maryland Ave, MC 2030
    Chicago, IL 60637
    Tel: (773)702-5659
    Fax: (773)702-5577
    Internet: http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchicago.edu/

    AutoImmunity Community
    Email: moderator@autoimmunitycommunity.org
    Internet: http://www.autoimmunitycommunity.org

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 9/7/2012
    Copyright 1991, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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