Pearl #1: The acronym POEMS is a useful way to remember the syndrome, but does not reflect the full breadth of symptomatology!
Pearl #2: POEMS Syndrome is incredibly rare: a true zebra diagnosis. In terms of monoclonal gammopathies, MGUS and Multiple Myeloma are by far the most common!
The two mandatory major criteria for POEMS Syndrome are polyradiculoneuropathy and monoclonal plasma cell disorder.
There are many other signs and symptoms outside of the POEMS acronym (see attached chart).
Also remember that POEMS is a very, very rare entity. In terms of monoclonal gammopathies, MGUS and multiple myeloma are by far the most common.
Also, check out a recent blog post from Moffitt for some great POEMS pearls.
Dispenzieri A. How I Treat POEMS Syndrome. Blood. Jun 2012; 119(24):5650-5658.