• Vol. 36 No. 6, 435–437
  • 15 June 2007

POEMS Syndrome – A Case for More Aggressive Treatment



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Introduction: Patients with POEMS (polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, mono-clonal or M-protein and skin changes) syndrome exhibit a wide range of clinical manifestations and are often seen by a variety of specialists prior to diagnosis. Clinical Picture: We describe a case of POEMS syndrome that first presented with significant neuropathy but progressed to develop further manifestations of the condition, including marked gastrointestinal symptoms. Treatment: The patient was commenced on localised radiotherapy and chemotherapy in addition to immunomodulatory therapy for the neuropathy. Conclusion: We highlight several learning points that may benefit physicians from varied specialties. This case is also unique for its marked gastrointestinal manifestation. To our knowledge, this is the second reported case in the literature with this feature.

POEMS syndrome is a rare, multisystem disorder originally characterised by the presence of polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal or M-protein and skin changes. Bardwick proposed the acronym in 1980.1 With a wide array of features, this condition can present to a variety of medical subspecialties. We report a patient who presented with neurological and gastrointestinal symptoms from which several learning points were highlighted.

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