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    Polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome is a rare paraneoplastic syndrome involving multisystem. Optic disc edema (ODE) is the most common ocular manifestation in patients with POEMS syndrome and serves as an independent prognostic factor. However, parameters previously used to estimate its severity were inconvenient and costly. This study was designed to bring forward a novel and practical parameter, optic disc edema area, to evaluate ODE in patients with this disease and applied it to assess effectiveness of lenalidomide combined with dexamethasone in respect of ODE. Forty-one treatment-naive patients with POEMS syndrome were enrolled in this single-center prospective study and treated with lenalidomide combined with dexamethasone. They received ocular examination to determine optic disc edema (ODE) area and other optic manifestations. Meanwhile, serum VEGF was measured before and after treatment. Among 41 enrolled patients, 38 received complete ocular examinations, and 25 of which had ODE at initial visit. Binocular mean ODE area of patients with ODE was significantly related to ODE grade (r = 0.620, p = 0.003) and peripapillary retinal thickness (r = 0.760, p < 0.001) before treatment. Serum VEGF was significantly higher in patients with ODE than their counterparts (p = 0.025) and positively correlated with binocular mean ODE area (r = 0.460, p = 0.036). After treatment, ODE area, along with serum VEGF, decreased markedly (p < 0.001). ODE area was a reliable index to evaluate ODE severity and could precisely reflect ODE improvement through systemic treatment. Additionally, it was related to serum VEGF, a key factor in disease pathogenesis, suggesting its potential as an indicator of the overall severity of this disease. Clinicaltrials, NCT01816620. Registered March 222,013.


    Ling-Shan Liu, Xiao Zhang, Hao Zhao, Xue-Min Gao, Dao-Bin Zhou, Rong-Ping Dai, Jian Li. Reliability of optic disc edema area in estimating the severity of papilledema in patients with POEMS syndrome. Orphanet journal of rare diseases. 2020 May 19;15(1):116

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    PMID: 32429967

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