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Polycythemia vera

  • Definition

    Polycythemia vera is an abnormal increase in the number of blood cells (primarily red blood cells) produced by the bone marrow.


    Alternative Names

    Primary polycythemia; Polycythemia rubra vera; Myeloproliferative disorder; Erythremia; Splenomegalic polycythemia; Vaquez's disease; Osler's disease; Polycythemia with chronic cyanosis - Myelopathic polycythemia; Erythrocytosis megalosplenica; Cryptogenic polycythemia


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    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.