Polycythemia Vera

The dominant feature of polycythemia vera (PV), also termed polcythemia rubra vera or primary proliferative polycythemia, is the excessive production of erythrocytes frequently accompanied by increases in other hematopoietic lineages. To achieve a diagnosis of PV it is important to exclude potential causes of a secondary erythrocytosis. Clinical evaluation, pathology, cytogenetics, and the determination of erythropoietin levels or demonstration of spontaneous erythroid colonies are all potentially useful. Probably the most important diagnostic feature is now the presence of detectable V617F as it is only detected in myeloid disorders (principally MPDs and occasionally leukemias10) and an elevated hematocrit.

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