Arterial and venous thromboses occur in patients with POEMS (polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M-protein level, and skin changes) syndrome at a previously reported rate of 20%. We reviewed the University College London Hospitals (UCLH) POEMS Registry to determine the rate of venous thromboembolism (VTE), arterial events, and risk factors. This registry, established in 1999 and comprising 103 patients at the time of this study, is the largest single-center cohort in Europe. Of the 83 assessable patients, median age at presentation was 52 years (range, 31-84). Twenty-five patients experienced clinically apparent arterial or venous events, and 2 had concurrent arterial and venous thromboses. Eleven patients had VTEs, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT; 3 of 11), pulmonary embolism (4 of 11), and peripherally inserted central catheter-associated DVT, which occurred during autologous stem cell transplantation (3 of 11). Sixteen patients experienced arterial events: stroke (7 of 16), peripheral arterial occlusion (5 of 16), myocardial infarction (3 of 16), and microvascular disease (1 of 16), with no discernible relationship with thrombocytosis or polycythemia. Thirty percent of POEMS patients have arterial and venous thromboses, higher than previously reported. There were more arterial than venous events, and most occurred during active disease, before the start of chemotherapy, indicating the need for a preemptive approach to thromboprophylaxis.
© 2020 by The American Society of Hematology.