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Polycythemia Vera

Polycythemia vera Alternative names is Polycythemia rubra vera and Splenomegalic polycythemia. Polycythemia vera (PV) is a stem cell disorder characterized as a panhyperplastic, malignant, and neoplastic marrow disorder. Polycythemia occurs most often in older adults. It's rare in people younger than 20. Polycythemia vera usually develops very slowly.

The disease usually develops slowly, and most patients do not experience any problems related to the disease after being diagnosed. However, the abnormal bone marrow cells may begin to grow uncontrollably in some patients leading to acute myelogenous leukemia.

Polycythemia vera is found during a blood test done for some other reason. In polycythemia vera, the excess of red blood cells increases the volume of blood and makes it thicker, so that it flows less easily through small blood vessels.

Polycythemia vera usually occurs within the age range of 20-80, with 60 being the mean age of onset. 10-15 % of patients may also present with gout due to hyperuricemia. Patients with polycythemia vera also have an increased tendency to form blood clots that can result in strokes or heart attacks . Some patients may experience abnormal bleeding because their platelets are abnormal.

Symptoms of polycythemia vera come on slowly. Because there are too many red blood cells, there is more blood in the body than normal, it is thicker than normal and has difficulty circulating in small blood vessels.Most Symptoms may include headache, dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), vision changes, chest pain, abnormal bleeding - nosebleeds, gums bleeding, bruising, digestive system bleeding.

Causes of Polycythemia Vera

Common causes of Polycythemia Vera

  • Overproduction of blood cell lines(white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets).
  • G6PD gene.
  • Abnormal karyotype.

Symptoms of Polycythemia Vera

Common Symptoms of Polycythemia Vera

  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Itchiness.
  • Red coloration, especially of the face.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Weakness.
  • Fatigue,
  • Headache.
  • Light-headedness.

Treatment of Polycythemia Vera

Common Treatment of Polycythemia Vera

  • Use of anti-platelet therapy (such as aspirin) is controversial because it may cause stomach bleeding.
  • Chemotherapy may be given to suppress the bone marrow.
  • Phlebotomy has been the mainstay of therapy for this disease process for a long time.
  • Low-dose aspirin may also help reduce burning pain in your feet or hands.




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