Polycythemia vera is a type of myelopoliferative blood disorder characterized by the excessive formation of red blood cells (erythrocytes) by the bone marrow. White blood cells and platelet count also increases. It is a rare bone marrow disorder. Primary disease manifestation lies in the thickening of blood caused by too many red blood cells in the circulation which might lead to clot formation. Clot formation causes the blockage of arteries and veins ultimately leading to fatal stroke or a heart attack. Due to increase density of blood in the vessels, the flow becomes slow and sluggish preventing adequate oxygen from reaching the tissues especially heart hence angina or heart failure results.
POLYCYTHEMIA VERA CAUSES:
It affects all age group although incidence rises with age. It occurs more commonly in men than women. Polycythemia vera causes is associated with the genetic mutation of an important gene called JAK2V617F. The exact cause of mutation is not known. A single faulty haematopoietic precursor cell in bone marrow leads to clonal expansion resulting in polycythemia vera. The sensitivity of erythroid precursors to erythropoietin increases causing large production of red blood cell formation.
Polycythemia Rubra Vera:
Polycythaemia Rubra Vera, also called essential polycythaemia Vera, is an problem where an excess of red cells are produced in the bone marrow, with no certain cause.
Polycythemia Vera life expectancy:
Polycythemia Vera life expectancy may be bargained as the infection develops to myelofibrosis, or seldom, intense leukemia.
POLYCYTHEMIA VERA SYMPTOMS:
The disease is slow and progressive usually requiring the period of about 4 to 5 years before it presents itself. Characteristic signs and polycythemia vera symptoms include increased mass of erythrocytes (RBCs), neutrophilia (increased neutrophils than normal), thrombocytosis (increased platelet count in blood) and splenomegaly (enlargement of spleen). Severe burning and itching of hands and feet is found due to histamine release. Increased viscosity of blood is responsible for the following symptoms: history of vascular occlusive disease, dizziness, headache, gout, pruritus, mental confusion, flushed face and abdominal discomfort. Due to abnormalities of RBCs and platelet, symptoms of epistaxis, thromboembolism, gum bleeding and gastrointestinal bleeding is common.
POLYCYTHEMIA VERA COMPLICATIONS:
Other than stroke and heart attack being a fatal polycythemia vera complications, a small group of sufferers progressively develop malignant blood disorders of acute myelogenous leukemia or myelofibrosis.
POLYCYTHEMIA VERA DIAGNOSIS:
Prognosis of the disease is strongly influenced by early diagnosis and treatment. Blood tests are performed to find out the count of cells. Complete blood picture and erythrocyte-sedimentation rate reveal and confirm the polycythemia vera diagnosis. Physical examination reveals enlarged spleen or liver and in some cases gouty nodules.
POLYCYTHEMIA VERA TREATMENT:
Polycythemia vera treatment is based upon reducing the symptoms of the disease because no specific cure is present for it. Timely management is necessary otherwise it may prove fatal. Phlebotomy is performed to remove blood from the body thus reducing the viscosity of blood associated with increased volume. Aspirin is also prescribed to prevent clot formation. Chemotherapy is indicated for its treatment but it is associated with increased risk of developing acute myelogenous leukemia. Radioactive isotopic injections, although suppress bone marrow, can also lead to AML malignant transformation. Polycythemia vera herbal product cures the condition effectively owing to the presence of its herbal constituents which help the body to restore and maintain its normal physiological functions by completely treating the disease and its associated symptoms in a short span of time.