Polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome is a multisystem disorder arising from underlying plasma cell dyscrasia. Renal impairment and related pathological changes have been reported, but data on its prevalence, response to therapy and impact on survival are still lacking.Methods
We retrospectively reviewed 299 patients diagnosed with POEMS syndrome in a tertiary-care university hospital from 2000 until 2014. The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was used to define renal impairment and response, according to International Myeloma Working Group criteria. We examined the impact of renal impairment and response on patient survival.Results
Sixty-seven patients (22.4%) had renal impairment (eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) at baseline. In a multivariate analysis, ascites was independently associated with renal impairment [odds ratio (OR) 12.366, P < 0.001]. Renal impairment was reversible in 66.0% of patients receiving therapy and was associated with a shorter time interval between symptom onset and treatment (OR 0.059, P = 0.043) and a vascular endothelial growth factor remission (OR 15.958, P = 0.050) in a multivariate analysis. In terms of therapy, patients with a renal response more commonly received a novel agent-based regimen (P = 0.037), which also led to a shorter response time (P = 0.001). With a median follow-up of 27.4 months, inferior survival was observed in patients with severe renal impairment (eGFR < 30 mL/min/1.73 m2), but not in those with moderate dysfunction (eGFR 30–59 mL/min/1.73 m2), compared with patients without renal impairment. A renal response, if achieved, predicted improved survival.Conclusions
Renal impairment is a common complication of POEMS syndrome, but can be reversed with effective therapy in most cases.