Prevalence, clinical profiles, and prognosis of POEMS syndrome in Japanese nationwide survey

Tomoki Suichi, Sonoko Misawa, Minako Beppu, Sho Takahashi, Yukari Sekiguchi, Kazumoto Shibuya, Hiroshi Amino, Atsuko Tsuneyama, Yo Ichi Suzuki, Keigo Nakamura, Yasunori Sato, Satoshi Kuwabara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


ObjectiveTo elucidate current epidemiological, clinical profiles, and treatment of polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M-protein, and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome.MethodsWe conducted a nationwide survey in 2015 using an established epidemiologic method. Data processing sheets were sent to all neurology and hematology specialist departments throughout Japan to identify patients with POEMS who were seen between April 2012 and March 2015.ResultsThe estimated number of patients with POEMS was 392 (95% confidence interval [CI] 320-464), and the prevalence was 0.3 per 100,000. Detailed clinical profiles were available for 167 patients. Median age at onset was 54 years (range, 21-84 years), and the ratio of male to female was 1.5. All patients showed polyneuropathy; 89% had monoclonal plasma cell proliferation; and 84% had elevated vascular endothelial growth factor level in whom pretreatment serum or plasma was available (n = 87). Other common features were skin changes (84%), edema/effusion (81%), and organomegaly (76%). A total of 160 patients were treated with any of the following: radiation, corticosteroids, melphalan, thalidomide, lenalidomide, bortezomib, or autologous stem cell transplantation. Primary therapeutic options were thalidomide (n = 86) and autologous stem cell transplantation (n = 71). Thirty-nine patients (24%) were initially treated with corticosteroid alone. The 10-year overall survival was 93% (95% CI 86%-96%).DiscussionThis study showed current epidemiologic and clinical status of POEMS syndrome in Japan. A quarter of patients were still inadequately treated with corticosteroid alone, whereas either autologous stem cell transplantation or immunomodulatory drugs improved the prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E975-E983
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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