The utility of plasma vascular endothelial growth factor levels in the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with POEMS syndrome

Anita D'Souza, Suzanne R. Hayman, Francis Buadi, Michelle Mauermann, Martha Q. Lacy, Morie A. Gertz, Robert A. Kyle, Shaji Kumar, Philip R. Greipp, John A. Lust, Stephen J. Russell, Steven Zeldenrust, David Dingli, Thomas E. Witzig, S. Vincent Rajkumar and Angela Dispenzieri


The POEMS syndrome is associated with elevated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels. Several studies have compared serum VEGF levels between POEMS patients and other disease entities showing higher serum VEGF in POEMS syndrome; however, it is unknown whether serum levels are reliable and reproducible given variable platelet release of VEGF. We therefore compared plasma levels of VEGF in 29 patients with POEMS syndrome with those of other disorders (n = 76). We demonstrated that plasma VEGF levels are useful in differentiating POEMS from other plasma cell dyscrasias, neuropathic processes, and multisystem illnesses. Plasma VEGF is also useful in monitoring disease activity after treatment and correlates with clinical improvements better than hematologic response.

  • Submitted June 21, 2011.
  • Accepted August 20, 2011.
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