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Raised VEGF: High sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of POEMS syndrome

Pihan, M; Keddie, S; D'Sa, S; Church, AJ; Yong, KL; Reilly, MM; Lunn, MP; (2018) Raised VEGF: High sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of POEMS syndrome. Neurology, Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation , 5 (5) , Article e486. 10.1212/NXI.0000000000000486. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate the sensitivity and the specificity of serum vascular endothelial growth factor (sVEGF) for the diagnosis of polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, M-protein, and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome in patients with a neuropathy (NP) and to identify confounding causes of raised vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in this context to improve accuracy. Methods: We studied the specificity and sensitivity of sVEGF for the diagnosis of POEMS syndrome in a cohort of 195 consecutive patients with an NP in serum samples from June 2009 to November 2013, including 27 untreated patients with POEMS syndrome. We then studied VEGF in other neuropathies and analyzed causes of elevated VEGF in a multiple logistic regression analysis in a larger cohort of 236 patients including 168 with a non-POEMS NP and 68 without NP. Results: The sensitivity of elevated sVEGF for the diagnosis of POEMS was 100%. Its specificity was 91% in patients with an NP and 92% in patients with an NP and a paraproteinemia. sVEGF was much higher in POEMS before treatment. sVEGF was not significantly elevated in any non-POEMS NP or hematologic disease group. Multiple logistic regression showed that anemia with low iron was a significant predictor for elevated sVEGF and that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and obstructive sleep apnoea-hypopnoea syndrome were significant predictors for very elevated sVEGF. Interpretation: We confirmed the high sensitivity and specificity of an elevated VEGF for the diagnosis of POEMS. However, VEGF testing should be repeated, particularly after acute illnesses. Raised sVEGF should be interpreted with caution unless anemias with low iron, sleep apnea, COPD, cancers, vasculitis, and chronic inflammatory diseases are excluded. Classification of evidence: This study provides class IV evidence that elevated sVEGF levels accurately identifies patients with POEMS syndrome.

Type: Article
Title: Raised VEGF: High sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of POEMS syndrome
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1212/NXI.0000000000000486
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000486
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND), which permits downloading and sharing the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Haematology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10056636
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