Ultrasound evaluation of peripheral neuropathy in POEMS syndrome

Muscle Nerve. 2011 Dec;44(6):868-72. doi: 10.1002/mus.22258.


Introduction: Polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M protein, skin changes (POEMS) syndrome is a rare multisystem disorder associated with plasma cell dyscrasia whose main neurological feature is a demyelinating polyneuropathy. The aim of our study was to assess the pattern of ultrasound (US) nerve abnormalities in POEMS syndrome patients.

Methods: Eight POEMS syndrome patients underwent neurological examination and US evaluation of the median, ulnar, fibular, tibial, and sural nerves. Nerve cross-sectional area and echogenicity abnormalities were analyzed.

Results: US abnormalities were mostly localized at entrapment sites. Enlargements outside the entrapment sites were uncommon. No correlation was found between muscle weakness and focal US findings.

Conclusions: No specific pattern of US abnormalities was identified in this cohort of patients with POEMS syndrome. The lack of correlation between US and clinical findings may be secondary to the chronic nerve damage that is common in POEMS syndrome, where the diagnosis is often delayed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • POEMS Syndrome / complications*
  • POEMS Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography