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Polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy, skin changes (POEMS) syndrome is a rare multisystem disease associated with a plasma-cell dyscrasia. Although pachymeningeal involvement has occasionally been described, MRI of the central nervous system (CNS) has not yet been extensively investigated.
We retrospectively evaluated CNS MRI in Europe’s largest single-center cohort of POEMS syndrome. Of 77 patients who have been formally diagnosed with POEMS, 41 had MRI brain and 29 had MRI spine. A control group of 33 patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) was used as this is the major differential diagnosis. Of these CIDP patients, 12 underwent both MRI brain and spine, 7 had solely MRI brain and 14 had MRI spine.
In 41 POEMS patients with MRI brain, we identified frequent smooth, diffuse meningeal thickening of the cerebral convexities and falx (n = 29, 71%), of which 4 had meningeal collections. 17 (41%) had vascular abnormalities including white-matter disease, of which 4 had established infarcts. Of 29 patients with MRI spine, 17 (59%) had thickening of the brachial and lumbosacral plexus. Conversely in 19 CIDP patients with MRI brain, none had meningeal thickening (p < 0.0001); however, 8 (42%) had vascular abnormalities (p = 0.85). Of 26 patients with MRI spine, 9 (35%) had brachial or lumbosacral plexus thickening (p = 0.06).
In contrast to CIDP, POEMS patients frequently have pachymeningeal thickening. Vascular abnormalities and plexus thickening were also common but not statistically different to CIDP.
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- Frequent central nervous system, pachymeningeal and plexus MRI changes in POEMS syndrome
Oliver J. Ziff
Michael P. T. Lunn
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Journal of Neurology
Print ISSN: 0340-5354
Elektronische ISSN: 1432-1459
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