Polycythemia Vera BlablaDoctor

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  • Posted By: Admin
  • Posted On: Jun 05, 2011
  • Views: 824
  • Likes: 1
  • Category: Health Groups » Blood Diseases » Leukimia and Myelo
  • Description: Polycythemia vera is an abnormal increase in the number of blood cells (primarily red blood cells) produced by the bone marrow. Polycythemia vera is a disorder of the bone marrow. It causes too much production of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. It is a rare disease that occurs more often in men than women, and is rare in patients under age 40. The exact cause is unknown. The symptoms are breathing difficulty when lying down, dizziness, fullness in the left upper abdomen, headache, itchiness especially after a warm bath, red coloring, especially of the face, shortness of breath The goal of treatment is to reduce the thickness of the blood and prevent bleeding and clotting. A method called phlebotomy is used to decrease blood thickness. One pint of blood is removed weekly until the hematocrit level is less than 45, then therapy is continued as needed. Occasionally, chemotherapy (specifically hydroxyurea) may be given to suppress the bone marrow.