How do you confirm polycythemia vera?
To diagnose PV, your doctor will perform a test called a complete blood count (CBC) to see if your number of red blood cells is higher than normal. Your doctor may also test your blood to look for amounts of a hormone called erythropoietin. Lower-than-normal levels of this hormone can be a sign of PV.
What could polycythemia be diagnosed with?
Polycythemia may be diagnosed incidentally on routine blood work. Hemoglobin, hematocrit, and red blood cell concentration are typically found on a complete blood count (CBC). Repeating the laboratory tests (blood work) to confirm the diagnosis is usually advised to rule out possible laboratory or drawing errors.
What is the hallmark clinical sign of polycythemia vera?
Polycythemia vera itself is often asymptomatic, but eventually the increased red cell volume and viscosity cause weakness, headache, light-headedness, visual disturbances, fatigue, and dyspnea. Pruritus often occurs, particularly after a hot bath or shower (aquagenic pruritus) and may be the earliest symptom.
Is polycythemia vera a malignancy?
Is one of a related group of blood cancers known as “myeloproliferative neoplasms” (MPNs). Too many red blood cells are made in the bone marrow and, in many cases, the numbers of white blood cells and platelets are also elevated.
When to see a doctor for polycythemia vera?
The disease often is found during routine blood tests done for other reasons. If the results of your blood tests aren’t normal, your doctor may want to do more tests. Your doctor will diagnose PV based on your signs and symptoms, your age and overall health, your medical history, a physical exam, and test results.
What kind of blood test is polycythemia vera?
Hematocrit is a measure of how much space red blood cells take up in your blood. A high level of hemoglobin or hematocrit may be a sign of PV. The CBC also checks the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in your blood. Abnormal results may be a sign of PV, a blood disorder, an infection, or another condition.
What is the cutoff for polycythemia vera?
These were the modifications with the greatest effect: (1) lowering the hemoglobin threshold, allowing a diagnosis of PV at 16.5 g/dL in males and at 16.0 g/dL in females and (2) introducing a hematocrit cutoff (49% in males and 48% in females).
Can a bone marrow test detect secondary polycythemia?
People who have PV have very low levels of EPO. People who have secondary polycythemia usually have normal or high levels of EPO. Bone marrow tests can show whether your bone marrow is healthy. These tests also show whether your bone marrow is making normal amounts of blood cells.
Can polycythemia vera kill you?
Polycythemia vera can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated. It can cause blood clots resulting in a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism. Liver and spleen enlargement are other possible complications.
How is polycythemia vera diagnosed?
Polycythemia Vera is diagnosed most frequently from a blood test examination. In a complete blood count (CBC) an increased number of red blood cells, elevated hematocrit measures, elevated levels of hemoglobin and very low levels of erythropoietin are revealed.
What do you recommend for polycythemia vera?
There’s no cure for polycythemia vera. Treatment focuses on reducing your risk of complications. These treatments may also ease your symptoms. Treatment to reduce symptoms might include: Low-dose aspirin. Your doctor may recommend that you take a low dose of aspirin to reduce your risk of blood clots.
Is there a cure for polycythemia vera?
There’s no cure for polycythemia vera, but with appropriate medical care, many patients can live with it and enjoy relatively good health. Treatment involves reducing the total number of red blood cells by drawing blood from a vein (phlebotomy) and medication to reduce the number of new red blood cells being made.