Objective: To define the peripheral neuropathy phenotypes associated with Castleman disease. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review for patients with biopsy-proven Castleman disease evaluated between January 2003 and December 2014. Patients with associated peripheral neuropathy were identified and divided into 2 groups: those with Castleman disease without POEMS syndrome (CD-PN) and those with Castleman disease with POEMS syndrome (CD-POEMS). We used a cohort of patients with POEMS as controls. Clinical, electrodiagnostic, and laboratory characteristics were collected and compared among patient subgroups. Results: There were 7 patients with CD-PN, 20 with CD-POEMS, and 122 with POEMS. Patients with CD-PN had the mildest neuropathy characterized by predominant sensory symptoms with no pain and mild distal sensory deficits (median Neuropathy Impairment Score of 7 points). Although both patients with CD-POEMS and patients with POEMS had a severe sensory and motor neuropathy, patients with CD-POEMS were less affected (median Neuropathy Impairment Score of 33 and 66 points, respectively). The degree of severity was also reflected on electrodiagnostic testing in which patients with CD-PN demonstrated a mild degree of axonal loss, followed by patients with CD-POEMS and then those with POEMS. Demyelinating features, defined by European Federation of Neurologic Societies/Peripheral Nerve Society criteria, were present in 43% of the CD-PN, 78% of the CD-POEMS, and 86% of the POEMS group. Conclusion: There is a spectrum of demyelinating peripheral neuropathies associated with Castleman disease. CD-PN is sensory predominant and is the mildest phenotype, whereas CD-POEMS is a more severe sensory and motor neuropathy. Compared to the POEMS cohort, those with CD-POEMS neuropathy have a similar but less severe phenotype. Whether these patients respond differently to treatment deserves further study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology