MYTHS & FACTS… About polycythemia vera

May 2005 
Volume 35  Number 5
Pages 28 - 28
  PDF Version Available!

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 35(5)             May 2005             p 28 … About polycythemia vera [MYTHS & FACTS]


MYTH: A crisis condition, polycythemia vera develops when spleen injury prevents normal destruction of old red blood cells (RBCs) .

FACT: Polycythemia vera, or excess production of RBCs, white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets by the bone marrow, develops slowly. The cause of this chronic myeloproliferative disorder isn't known, but may be related to abnormal stem cells.

MYTH: Bone marrow testing is required to diagnose polycythemia vera .

FACT: Bone marrow testing can confirm the diagnosis, but this invasive test usually isn't necessary. In most cases, the diagnosis is based on symptoms and history, physical exam, and a simple complete blood cell count showing RBC volume greater than 36 ml/kg in ...

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