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Red blood cell overproduction: High red blood cell count Causes


High red blood cell count Causes

High red blood cell count may be caused by low oxygen levels, kidney disease or other problems.

Low oxygen levels

Your body may increase red blood cell production to compensate for any condition that results in low oxygen levels, including:

  1. Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease in adults)
  2. Heart failure
  3. A condition present at birth that reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of red blood cells (hemoglobinopathy)
  4. High altitudes
  5. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) exacerbation — worsening of symptoms
  6. Pulmonary fibrosis (scarred and damaged lungs)
  7. Other lung diseases
  8. Sleep apnea
  9. Nicotine dependence (smoking)

Performance-enhancing drugs

Certain drugs stimulate the production of red blood cells, including:

  1. Anabolic steroids
  2. Blood doping (transfusion)
  3. Injections of a protein (erythropoietin) that enhances red blood cell production

Increased red blood cell concentration

  1. Dehydration (If the liquid component of the blood (plasma) is decreased, as in dehydration, the red blood cell count increases. This is due to the red blood cells becoming more concentrated. The actual number of red blood cells stays the same.)

Kidney disease

Rarely, in some kidney cancers and sometimes after kidney transplants, the kidneys might produce too much erythropoietin. This enhances red blood cell production.

Bone marrow overproduction

  1. Polycythemia vera
  2. Other myeloproliferative disorders

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

  • Definition
  • When to see a doctor

Nov. 26, 2020

Show references

  1. Tefferi A. Diagnostic approach to the patient with polycythemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 7, 2015.
  2. Polycythemia vera. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/poly#. Accessed Dec. 8, 2015.
  3. Lee G, et al. The clinical and laboratory evaluation of the patient with erythrocytosis. European Journal of Internal Medicine. 2015;26:297.
  4. Marx JA, et al., eds. Anemia, polycythemia, and white blood cells disorders. In: Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 7, 2015.
  5. Tefferi A, et al. Essential thrombocythemia and polycythemia vera: Focus on clinical practice. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2015;90:1283.
  6. Connolly HM. Medical management of cyanotic congenital heart disease in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 8, 2015.
  7. Hoffman R, et al. The polycythemias. In: Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 8, 2015.


High red blood cell count

A high red blood cell count is an increase in oxygen-carrying cells in your bloodstream. Red blood cells transport oxygen from your lungs to tissues throughout your body. A high red blood cell count can result from a condition that limits your oxygen supply or a condition that directly increases red blood cell production.

The definition of a high red blood cell count varies from one medical practice to another. A normal range in adults is generally considered to be 4.35 to 5.65 million red blood cells per microliter (mcL) of blood for men and 3.92 to 5.13 million red blood cells per mcL of blood for women. In children, the threshold for high red blood cell count varies with age and sex.

Nov. 26, 2020

Show references

  1. Tefferi A. Diagnostic approach to the patient with polycythemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 7, 2015.
  2. Polycythemia vera. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/poly#. Accessed Dec. 8, 2015.
  3. Lee G, et al. The clinical and laboratory evaluation of the patient with erythrocytosis. European Journal of Internal Medicine. 2015;26:297.
  4. Marx JA, et al., eds. Anemia, polycythemia, and white blood cells disorders. In: Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 7, 2015.
  5. Tefferi A, et al. Essential thrombocythemia and polycythemia vera: Focus on clinical practice. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2015;90:1283.
  6. Connolly HM. Medical management of cyanotic congenital heart disease in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 8, 2015.
  7. Hoffman R, et al. The polycythemias. In: Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 8, 2015.


Nicotine dependence – Symptoms and causes


Nicotine dependence occurs when you need nicotine and can’t stop using it. Nicotine is the chemical in tobacco that makes it hard to quit. Nicotine produces pleasing effects in your brain, but these effects are temporary. So you reach for another cigarette.

The more you smoke, the more nicotine you need to feel good. When you try to stop, you experience unpleasant mental and physical changes. These are symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

Regardless of how long you’ve smoked, stopping can improve your health. It isn’t easy but you can break your dependence on nicotine. Many effective treatments are available. Ask your doctor for help.

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For some people, using any amount of tobacco can quickly lead to nicotine dependence. Signs that you may be addicted include:

  • You can’t stop smoking. You’ve made one or more serious, but unsuccessful, attempts to stop.
  • You have withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop. Your attempts at stopping have caused physical and mood-related symptoms, such as strong cravings, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, depressed mood, frustration, anger, increased hunger, insomnia, constipation or diarrhea.
  • You keep smoking despite health problems. Even though you’ve developed health problems with your lungs or your heart, you haven’t been able to stop.
  • You give up social activities. You may stop going to smoke-free restaurants or stop socializing with family or friends because you can’t smoke in these situations.

When to see a doctor

You’re not alone if you’ve tried to stop smoking but haven’t been able to stop for good. Most smokers make many attempts to stop smoking before they achieve stable, long-term abstinence from smoking.

You’re more likely to stop for good if you follow a treatment plan that addresses both the physical and the behavioral aspects of nicotine dependence. Using medications and working with a counselor specially trained to help people stop smoking (a tobacco treatment specialist) will significantly boost your chances of success.

Ask your health care team to help you develop a treatment plan that works for you or to advise you on where to get help to stop smoking.


Video: Smoking — Anatomy of nicotine addiction

Show transcript for video Video: Smoking — Anatomy of nicotine addiction

In many people, nicotine from cigarettes stimulates receptors in the brain to release dopamine, triggering a pleasure response. Over time, the number of nicotine receptors increases and changes your brain’s anatomy. When you quit smoking, you cut off the brain’s pleasure response because the receptors don’t get nicotine, triggering nicotine withdrawal symptoms. If you stick it out and use stop-smoking products to help with withdrawal symptoms and cravings, the number of nicotine receptors returns to normal, helping you quit smoking for good.

Nicotine is the chemical in tobacco that keeps you smoking. Nicotine reaches the brain within seconds of taking a puff. In the brain, nicotine increases the release of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, which help regulate mood and behavior.

Dopamine, one of these neurotransmitters, is released in the reward center of the brain and causes feelings of pleasure and improved mood.

The more you smoke, the more nicotine you need to feel good. Nicotine quickly becomes part of your daily routine and intertwined with your habits and feelings.

Common situations that trigger the urge to smoke include:

  • Drinking coffee or taking breaks at work
  • Talking on the phone
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Driving your car
  • Spending time with friends

To overcome your nicotine dependence, you need to become aware of your triggers and make a plan for dealing with them.

Risk factors

Anyone who smokes or uses other forms of tobacco is at risk of becoming dependent. Factors that influence who will use tobacco include:

  • Age. Most people begin smoking during childhood or the teen years. The younger you are when you begin smoking, the greater the chance that you’ll become addicted.
  • Genetics. The likelihood that you will start smoking and keep smoking may be partly inherited. Genetic factors may influence how receptors on the surface of your brain’s nerve cells respond to high doses of nicotine delivered by cigarettes.
  • Parents and peers. Children who grow up with parents who smoke are more likely to become smokers. Children with friends who smoke are also more likely to try it.
  • Depression or other mental illness. Many studies show an association between depression and smoking. People who have depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder or other forms of mental illness are more likely to be smokers.
  • Substance use. People who abuse alcohol and illegal drugs are more likely to be smokers.


Tobacco smoke contains more than 60 known cancer-causing chemicals and thousands of other harmful substances. Even “all natural” or herbal cigarettes have harmful chemicals.

You already know that people who smoke cigarettes are much more likely to develop and die of certain diseases than people who don’t smoke. But you may not realize just how many different health problems smoking causes:

  • Lung cancer and lung disease. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths. In addition, smoking causes lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also makes asthma worse.
  • Other cancers. Smoking increases the risk of many types of cancer, including cancer of the mouth, throat (pharynx), esophagus, larynx, bladder, pancreas, kidney, cervix and some types of leukemia. Overall, smoking causes 30% of all cancer deaths.
  • Heart and circulatory system problems. Smoking increases your risk of dying of heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease, including heart attacks and strokes. If you have heart or blood vessel disease, such as heart failure, smoking worsens your condition.
  • Diabetes. Smoking increases insulin resistance, which can set the stage for type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, smoking can speed the progress of complications, such as kidney disease and eye problems.
  • Eye problems. Smoking can increase your risk of serious eye problems such as cataracts and loss of eyesight from macular degeneration.
  • Infertility and impotence. Smoking increases the risk of reduced fertility in women and the risk of impotence in men.
  • Complications during pregnancy. Mothers who smoke while pregnant face a higher risk of preterm delivery and giving birth to lower birth weight babies.
  • Cold, flu and other illnesses. Smokers are more prone to respiratory infections, such as colds, the flu and bronchitis.
  • Tooth and gum disease. Smoking is associated with an increased risk of developing inflammation of the gum and a serious gum infection that can destroy the support system for teeth (periodontitis).

Smoking also poses health risks to those around you. Nonsmoking spouses and partners of smokers have a higher risk of lung cancer and heart disease compared with people who don’t live with a smoker. Children whose parents smoke are more prone to worsening asthma, ear infections and colds.


The best way to prevent nicotine dependence is to not use tobacco in the first place.

The best way to keep children from smoking is to not smoke yourself. Research has shown that children whose parents do not smoke or who successfully quit smoking are much less likely to take up smoking.

Polycythemia vera – Symptoms and causes


Polycythemia vera (pol-e-sy-THEE-me-uh VEER-uh) is a type of blood cancer. It causes your bone marrow to make too many red blood cells. These excess cells thicken your blood, slowing its flow, which may cause serious problems, such as blood clots.

Polycythemia vera is rare. It usually develops slowly, and you might have it for years without knowing. Often the condition is found during a blood test done for another reason.

Without treatment, polycythemia vera can be life-threatening. But proper medical care can help ease signs, symptoms and complications of this disease.

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Many people with polycythemia vera don’t have noticeable signs or symptoms. Some people might develop vague symptoms such as headache, dizziness, fatigue and blurred vision.

More-specific symptoms of polycythemia vera include:

  • Itchiness, especially after a warm bath or shower
  • Numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in your hands, feet, arms or legs
  • A feeling of fullness soon after eating and bloating or pain in your left upper abdomen due to an enlarged spleen
  • Unusual bleeding, such as a nosebleed or bleeding gums
  • Painful swelling of one joint, often the big toe
  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing when lying down

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have signs or symptoms of polycythemia vera.


Polycythemia vera occurs when a mutation in a gene causes a problem with blood cell production. Normally, your body regulates the number of each of the three types of blood cells you have — red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. But in polycythemia vera, your bone marrow makes too many of some of these blood cells.

The cause of the gene mutation in polycythemia vera is unknown, but it’s generally not inherited from your parents.

Risk factors

Polycythemia vera can occur at any age, but it’s more common in adults between 50 and 75. Men are more likely to get polycythemia vera, but women tend to get the disease at younger ages.


Possible complications of polycythemia vera include:

  • Blood clots. Increased blood thickness and decreased blood flow, as well as abnormalities in your platelets, raise your risk of blood clots. Blood clots can cause a stroke, a heart attack, or a blockage in an artery in your lungs or a vein deep within a leg muscle or in the abdomen.
  • Enlarged spleen. Your spleen helps your body fight infection and filter unwanted material, such as old or damaged blood cells. The increased number of blood cells caused by polycythemia vera makes your spleen work harder than normal, which causes it to enlarge.
  • Problems due to high levels of red blood cells. Too many red blood cells can lead to a number of other complications, including open sores on the inside lining of your stomach, upper small intestine or esophagus (peptic ulcers) and inflammation in your joints (gout).
  • Other blood disorders. In rare cases, polycythemia vera can lead to other blood diseases, including a progressive disorder in which bone marrow is replaced with scar tissue, a condition in which stem cells don’t mature or function properly, or cancer of the blood and bone marrow (acute leukemia).

March 18, 2021

Show references

  1. Ferri FF. Polycythemia vera. In: Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2020. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 7, 2019.
  2. Polycythemia vera. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/polycythemia-vera. Accessed Dec. 7, 2019.
  3. Goldman L, et al., eds. Polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and primary myelofibrosis. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 8, 2019.
  4. AskMayoExpert. Polycythemia vera (adult). Mayo Clinic. 2019.
  5. Cuthbert D, et al. Polycythemia vera-associated complications: Pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and effects on outcomes. Journal of Blood Medicine. 2019; doi:10.2147/JBM.S189922.
  6. Tefferi A, et al. Polycythemia vera treatment algorithm 2018. Blood Cancer Journal. 2018; doi:10.1038/s41408-017-0042-7.
  7. Tefferi A. Prognosis and treatment of polycythemia vera. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Dec. 7, 2019.
  8. Griesshammer M, et al. Thromboembolic events in polycythemia vera. Annals of Hematology. 2019; doi:10.1007/s00277-019-03625-x.
  9. Spivak JL. Polycythemia vera. Current Treatment Options in Oncology. 2018; doi:10.1007/s11864-018-0529-x.
  10. Van de Ree-Pellikaan C, et al. Treatment strategies for polycythemia vera: Observations in a Dutch “real-world” cohort study. European Journal of Haematology. 2019; doi:10.1111/ejh.13291.
  11. Ferrari A, et al. Clinical outcomes under hydroxyurea treatment in polycythemia vera: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Haematologica. 2019; doi:10.3324/haematol.2019.221234.


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Types, Symptoms, Treatment & Complications


What is polycythemia vera (PV)?

PV is a blood disorder in which the body makes too many red blood cells. These extra red cells make blood thicker than normal. The thickened blood flows slower and may clot within your body.

Red blood cells carry oxygen to organs and tissues throughout the body. If the blood moves too slowly or clots, the cells cannot deliver enough oxygen. This situation can cause serious complications including heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.

PV affects about 22 out of every 100,000 people. Doctors diagnose it most commonly in men over 60 years old.

Symptoms and Causes

What causes polycythemia vera (PV)?

Doctors classify PV into 2 types. The cause of the condition determines each type.

  • Primary PV occurs when there is a genetic mutation (abnormality). Almost all people diagnosed with PV have a mutation in the JAK2 (Janus kinase) gene. In most cases, PV is not hereditary (passed down through families), but it is hereditary in a few cases. Mutations in the TET2 gene are also found commonly in PV cells.
  • Secondary PV (acquired) occurs in people who experience low levels of oxygen in their blood for long periods of time. This extended lack of oxygen causes the body to make extra amounts of a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO). Too much EPO in the body can cause it to make too many red blood cells.

What are the symptoms of polycythemia vera (PV)?

People with PV experience a variety of symptoms. Some people have no symptoms at all. Symptoms include:

  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Difficulty breathing when lying down
  • Enlarged (bigger than normal) spleen (organ that clears blood cells from the body)
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Itchy skin, especially following a warm bath
  • Skin that is reddish or purplish in color
  • Bleeding gums
  • Weight loss
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Sweating, especially at night

Diagnosis and Tests

How do doctors diagnose polycythemia vera (PV)?

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. Doctors use genetic tests to identify the mutation in the JAK2 gene.

Management and Treatment

What are the treatments for polycythemia vera (PV)?

Doctors treat PV with a technique called phlebotomy. This procedure removes blood from your body. Red blood cells contain large amounts of iron. By removing iron from the body, the production of red blood cells by the bone marrow slows down.

During phlebotomy, a health professional will insert a needle into a vein and drain blood through a tube into a container. People with a new PV diagnosis typically undergo phlebotomy once a week until their red blood cell level becomes closer to normal. After that, they may have phlebotomy every three months to keep levels normal.

Doctors also prescribe medicines to treat PV. The most common drug used to treat PV is hydroxyurea (Hydrea®, Droxia®). This medicine helps slow the production of red blood cells. Some people with PV take aspirin every day because it helps thin the blood.

Two other drugs used to treat PV are ruxolitininib (Jakafi®), which is used for patients who do not respond to or cannot take hydroxyurea. Pegylated interferon (Pegasis®), is used to treat hepatitis C. However, an off-label use for the interferon has been used to treat patients with PV.

What are the complications of polycythemia vera (PV)?

The most dangerous complication of PV is a blood clot. When a clot travels to the heart or brain, it can cause a heart attack or stroke. A clot can also travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). These events can be fatal.

A bone marrow disorder called myelofibrosis is another potential complication of PV. Myelofibrosis leads to scarring in the bone marrow and anemia (low red blood cell count). In rare cases, PV can develop into a blood cancer called acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML can lead to anemia and infection, and spread beyond the blood to other areas in the body.


Can polycythemia vera (PV)? be prevented?

For most patients, there is no clear cause to the PV and it cannot be prevented.

Outlook / Prognosis

What is the outlook for people with polycythemia vera (PV)?

There is no cure for PV. People with the condition usually need treatment their entire lives.

Regular doctor visits and blood tests can help ensure the disease does not get worse. PV treatment helps you manage the disorder to ease symptoms and avoid complications for a healthier life.

Living With

When should I call the doctor if I have polycythemia vera (PV) or think I might?

Contact your doctor if you develop symptoms of PV. Early diagnosis and treatment can help keep PV from interfering with daily life.

Consulting with a doctor who specializes in genetic conditions may help you learn how to manage issues related to living with PV. Ask your doctor for a referral for a genetic specialist for additional counseling.

Polycythemia Vera | NHLBI, NIH

Polycythemia vera (PV) doesn’t have a cure. However, treatments can help control the disease and its complications. PV is treated with procedures, medicines, and other methods. You may need one or more treatments to manage the disease.

Goals of Treatment

The goals of treating PV are to control symptoms and reduce the risk of complications, especially heart attack and stroke. To do this, PV treatments reduce the number of red blood cells and the level of hemoglobin (an iron-rich protein) in the blood. This brings the thickness of your blood closer to normal.

Blood with normal thickness flows better through the blood vessels. This reduces the chance that blood clots will form and cause a heart attack or stroke.

Blood with normal thickness also ensures that your body gets enough oxygen. This can help reduce some of the signs and symptoms of PV, such as headaches, vision problems, and itching.

Studies show that treating PV greatly improves your chances of living longer.

The goal of treating secondary polycythemia is to control its underlying cause, if possible. For example, if the cause is carbon monoxide exposure, the goal is to find the source of the carbon monoxide and fix or remove it.

Treatments To Lower Red Blood Cell Levels


Phlebotomy (fle-BOT-o-me) is a procedure that removes some blood from your body. For this procedure, a needle is inserted into one of your veins. Blood from the vein flows through an airtight tube into a sterile container or bag. The process is similar to the process of donating blood.

Phlebotomy reduces your red blood cell count and starts to bring your blood thickness closer to normal.

Typically, a pint (1 unit) of blood is removed each week until your hematocrit level approaches normal. (Hematocrit is the measure of how much space red blood cells take up in your blood.)

You may need to have phlebotomy done every few months.


Your doctor may prescribe medicines to keep your bone marrow from making too many red blood cells. Examples of these medicines include hydroxyurea and interferon-alpha.

Hydroxyurea is a medicine generally used to treat cancer. This medicine can reduce the number of red blood cells and platelets in your blood. As a result, this medicine helps improve your blood flow and bring the thickness of your blood closer to normal.

Interferon-alpha is a substance that your body normally makes. It also can be used to treat PV. Interferon-alpha can prompt your immune system to fight overactive bone marrow cells. This helps lower your red blood cell count and keep your blood flow and blood thickness closer to normal.

Radiation Treatment

Radiation treatment can help suppress overactive bone marrow cells. This helps lower your red blood cell count and keep your blood flow and blood thickness closer to normal.

However, radiation treatment can raise your risk of leukemia (blood cancer) and other blood diseases.

Treatments for Symptoms

Aspirin can relieve bone pain and burning feelings in your hands or feet that you may have as a result of PV. Aspirin also thins your blood, so it reduces the risk of blood clots.

Aspirin can have side effects, including bleeding in the stomach and intestines. For this reason, take aspirin only as your doctor recommends.

If your PV causes itching, your doctor may prescribe medicines to ease the discomfort. Your doctor also may prescribe ultraviolet light treatment to help relieve your itching.

Other ways to reduce itching include:

  • Avoiding hot baths. Cooler water can limit irritation to your skin.
  • Gently patting yourself dry after bathing. Vigorous rubbing with a towel can irritate your skin.
  • Taking starch baths. Add half a box of starch to a tub of lukewarm water. This can help soothe your skin.

Experimental Treatments

Researchers are studying other treatments for PV. An experimental treatment for itching involves taking low doses of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This type of medicine is used to treat depression. In clinical trials, SSRIs reduced itching in people who had PV.

Imatinib mesylate is a medicine that’s approved for treating leukemia. In clinical trials, this medicine helped reduce the need for phlebotomy in people who had PV. This medicine also helped reduce the size of enlarged spleens.

Researchers also are trying to find a treatment that can block or limit the effects of an abnormal JAK2 gene. (A mutation, or change, in the JAK2 gene is the major cause of PV.)

Polycythemia vera | University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics

Polycythemia Vera (PV) is a disorder that stimulates an overproduction of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Some patients with PV will not demonstrate any symptoms at all, but many will experience easy bruising or bleeding with little or no injury. Also, the blood may be thick and gummy, causing it to clot in tiny blood vessels. If clotting occurs in the tiny blood vessels of the fingers and toes, a patient may experience numbness or burning. If it occurs in the brain, it may lead to mental confusion or, in more serious cases, a stroke.

Occasionally, the increased blood volume also causes congestion and enlargement of the spleen or liver. These organs may become enlarged because they are trying to produce extra blood cells, a process called extramedullary hematopoiesis. If the spleen becomes too enlarged, it can cause discomfort after eating, difficulty breathing, and chest pain.

Every year, there are five new cases of PV per 1,000,000 people. The average age of a person diagnosed with PV is 60 years old, although it can affect both young and older people, and it occurs more often in males than females. There is no known cure.

Diagnostic tests

To diagnose PV, your doctor will order a blood test to count the number of cells in your blood. He or she may also perform a blood smear to determine if the cells appear normal. If these tests are abnormal, you may be referred to a hematologist, a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating bone marrow and blood disorders. Further special testing will likely be recommended.

Treatment overview

The primary goal of treatment is to lower the number of cells in your blood. The treatment you receive will depend on your age, health, if you are having any symptoms, and the results of your blood test. It may include:


Phlebotomy is the process of removing blood from the body to reduce cell levels. It can be repeated when necessary.


Chemotherapy uses medication to slow the production of blood cells in the body. One type of chemotherapy often used to treat PV is hydroxyurea.

Biological therapy

Biological Therapy, or immunotherapy, uses substances made naturally in the body to stimulate or bolster your own immune response to the disorder. One type of natural substance used to treat PV is alpha interferon.

Radioactive drugs

A Radioactive drug called P32, or radioactive phosphorous, is sometimes given to patients with PV. Once injected, the medication travels to the bone marrow and destroys the overactive marrow cells. This treatment affects the white blood cells and platelets quickly, but may take about three months before affecting red blood cells. Because of this, your doctor may order phlebotomy treatments for several weeks after you receive P32.

Drug treatments

Your doctor might prescribe additional medication to combat the symptoms of PV. To control itching, you may be given cholestyramine, cyproheptadine, cimetidine, or psoralen plus ultraviolet light treatment. You might also be given medication to counter the symptoms of high uric acid levels in the blood or swelling in the toes. Your doctor is the best person to tell you which treatment is best for you.

Managing polycythemia vera

In addition to the treatment recommended by your doctor, there are steps you can take to help reduce or prevent the symptoms of PV:

  • Stop chewing or smoking tobacco. Your doctor or nurse can recommend programs in your community to help you do this.
  • Balance activities with regular rest periods. This ensures that your body conserves energy.
  • Avoid sodium or salt rich foods. These foods may cause fluid retention and make some symptoms worse.
  • Engage in light exercise, such as walking. This can be helpful in promoting circulation and the function of your heart.
  • Breathe deeply and cough periodically. Deep breaths and coughing can help keep your airways open and prevent infection.
  • Bathe or shower in cool water if warm baths cause itching.
  • Dry your skin gently after bathing.
  • Avoid scratching the skin.
  • Use lotion to maintain skin moisture.
  • Protect your hands and feet from injury, heat, cold and pressure.
  • Avoid straining when having bowel movements.
  • Eat a well balanced diet to maintain proper weight.
  • Perform leg and ankle exercises to prevent clots from forming in the deep veins of the legs. Your doctor or nurse will show you these exercises.
  • Inspect your feet regularly and report any sores to your doctor.

It is important that you be alert for any change or increase in symptoms. If this occurs, it may mean that you need additional or different treatments, and you should contact your doctor right away. The following symptoms require prompt attention:

Enlargement of the spleen symptoms

  • discomfort or bloating in the abdomen
  • enlargement of the abdomen
  • weight loss
  • backache
  • stomach pain
  • blood in your stools or rectal bleeding

Clotting symptoms

  • redness or burning sensation in the fingers, hands, and feet
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • visual changes
  • confusion in speech
  • numbness, tingling, or weakness in arms or legs
  • pain or swelling in arms or legs
  • shortness of breath
  • ruddy color in the face, hands, and feet
  • chest pain
  • sweating
  • increased cough
  • coughing up blood

Cardiopulmonary problem symptoms

  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • pressure in the head
  • shortness of breath
  • weakness and fatigue
  • pain in hands or feet
  • visual disturbances

Irritated skin symptoms

  • itching, especially after bathing in hot water or sleeping in bed
  • rash

Follow-up care and prognosis

PV requires regular appointments with your doctor. He or she will want to discuss your symptoms and do periodic blood counts to evaluate your response to treatment.

Polycythemia Vera is a disorder that cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with treatment. Some patients may only need minimal care and observation, while others may require more intensive treatment. In a small number of patients, PV may transform into another type of disorder, especially myelofibrosis or acute leukemia.

If you have questions or concerns about your treatment and prognosis, do not hesitate to discuss these with your doctor. It may be helpful to write your questions out before your visit.

90,000 Red blood cell overproduction in dogs

Polycythemia is a fairly serious blood disorder characterized by abnormally high levels of red blood cells in the circulatory system. This entails an increase in the hematocrit number, an increase in the concentration of hemoglobin, which stains the blood red, and an increase in the total volume of erythrocytes (ROE).

16 October 2013

Author: Tokareva Irina


There are 3 types of polycythemia: relative, short-term and absolute (true).In relative polycythemia, a decrease in blood plasma volume due to dehydration leads to a relative increase in the number of red blood cells. Short-term polycythemia occurs due to the contraction of the spleen, which releases a large number of red blood cells into the blood, thus responding to adrenaline, a hormone produced during stress, fear or anger. Polycythemia absolute occurs when the total number of red blood cells increases as a result of excessive bone marrow activity.

Polycythemia absolute , characterized by excessive production of red blood cells by the spinal cord, may be primary or secondary to increased production of erythropoietin. Primary absolute polycythemia, also called polycythemia rubra vera or erythremia, refers to myeloproliferative disorders characterized by the uncontrolled production of excess red blood cells by the bone marrow. Secondary Polycythemia Absolute occurs as a result of a physiologically determined release of erythropoietin due to a chronic lack of oxygen or an increased level of erythropoietin or similar substances in animals with normal oxygen levels in the blood.


Relative polycythemia:

Polycythemia absolute:

  • Breakdown

  • Fatigue

  • Dark red or bluish gums

  • Sneeze

  • Nosebleeds

  • Enlarged abdominal cavity


Relative Polycythemia:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Insufficient fluid intake

  • Renal diseases

  • Hyperventilation

Short-term polycythemia:

Primary absolute polycythemia:

Secondary absolute polycythemia:


Along with the medical examination, the veterinarian will perform a number of laboratory tests such as general, biochemical and electrolyte blood tests and urinalysis. The doctor will also measure the oxygen level in the blood. To determine the level of erythropoietin, a blood test for hormones is performed. Radiographic and ultrasound examinations of the heart, kidneys and lungs will help determine the possible presence of diseases that can cause polycythemia.

It is very important to describe in detail to the veterinarian the history of the dog’s illness, its condition, the nature and duration of the symptoms, as well as to tell about all the diseases that the dog has suffered.This information will help your veterinarian determine the cause of the polycythemia and make an accurate diagnosis.


Dogs suffering from polycythemia must be hospitalized. Depending on the type of polycythemia and its cause, different treatments are prescribed, such as phlebotomy or bloodletting to drain excess red blood cells or oxygen therapy if the cause of polycythemia is a lack of oxygen in the blood. Your pet may need infusion therapy or medication if the diagnosis suggests a bone marrow disorder (myeloproliferative disease).

Maintenance and care

Regular visits to your veterinarian will ensure that your pet is monitored for a successful recovery. The doctor will periodically do repeated blood tests on to determine the hematocrit number.

Meaning, Definition, Suggestions. What are blood cells

Your bone marrow begins to overproduce immature white blood cells.
The number of red blood cells increases so that the blood can carry more oxygen.
Undiagnosed cirrhosis of the liver with elevated white blood cell counts indicates cancer.
Then I assumed that the reason for the difference lies in the number of red blood cells per cubic millimeter.
The number of red blood cells has dropped dramatically, and almost every organ in my body is close to failure.
abdominal pain, increased number of one type of white blood cell, low blood sugar, shortness of breath, hair loss,
Due to radiation, this little boy only has half of the required red blood cell count.
It’s not about the size of the red blood cells, it’s about the antibodies.
His red blood cell level is not sufficient for a safe operation.
And you have exceeded the number of white blood cells, so there is a possibility that some infection triggered this blood reaction.
No fever, normal white blood cell count.
Blood cell count, pressure, X-ray…
The blood on this hair has a high white blood cell count because it rises when you are seriously injured or suffering from an infection.
The analysis shows the number of white blood cells is 16, hemoglobin 8.5, platelets 20.
The problem is outside of his red blood cells.
Isn’t there about 6 million blood cells in a cubic millimeter?
This increases the number of red blood cells and allows your muscles to work harder for the next 12 hours.
Unlike mammalian red blood cells, cells in other vertebrates still contain nuclei.
Inflammatory cells include neutrophilic granulocytes and macrophages, two types of white blood cells.
Glycerin is also used in the blood bank to preserve red blood cells before freezing.
They are the main sites of B – and T cells and other white blood cells.
In most types of granulocytes, white blood cells, the nucleus is lobular and can be bilobed, three-lobed, or multi-lobed.
An increased number of white blood cells, called eosinophils, in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood is also an indicator.
This may be the result of normal development, such as the maturation of mammalian red blood cells, or due to improper cell division.
One study showed a possible increase in global methylation of genomic white blood cell DNA with greater physical activity in non-Americans.
In the last weeks of his life, the number of red blood cells in his blood dropped to 9%.
Direct Coombs’ test detects antibodies that adhere to the surface of red blood cells.
These antibodies can act against certain red blood cells, and a test can be done to diagnose transfusion reactions.
The Direct Coombs’ test is used to detect antibodies or complement proteins attached to the surface of red blood cells.
Examples include cystine from hair hydrolysis, tryptophan from casein, histidine from red blood cells, and arginine from gelatin.
Greyhounds have higher red blood cell counts than other breeds.
It primarily acts as a blood filter and plays an important role in red blood cells and the immune system.
Stones form around a lesion, which may be white blood cells, bacteria, and an organic matrix mixed with crystals or crystals alone.
This controls the passage of materials and the transit of white blood cells into and out of the bloodstream.
The number of red blood cells present in your blood vessels affects your health.
Hematocrit tests can be performed to calculate the proportion of red blood cells in your blood.
Endothelial cells can be found throughout the vascular system and they also play a vital role in the movement of white blood cells.
He also found a method for washing blood cells and invented a method for rapidly separating plasma from whole blood using a centrifuge.
Because of its narrow vessels and function in clearing out defective red blood cells, the spleen is often affected.
Loss of red blood cell elasticity is central to the pathophysiology of sickle cell disease.
Iron is a mineral that plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells in the body, especially as an essential component of hemoglobin.
However, as these reserves continue to be used, iron will eventually be depleted to the point where red blood cell formation becomes abnormal.
This indicates a large number of abnormally small red blood cells.
They learn that the Chimera has a 20-hour rest period before it causes death by mass destruction of the victim’s red blood cells.
Crenation is also used to describe the characteristics of red blood cells.
Erythropoietin is involved in the production of red blood cells and calcitriol plays a role in bone formation.
It acts as an endotoxin and is responsible for septic shock and hemorrhage due to the destruction of red blood cells.
Unlike red and white blood cells created by mitosis, platelets are shed from very large cells called megakaryocytes.
Increased needs occur in people with HIV / AIDS and in those with shorter red blood cell lifespans.
In this case, iron retention actually impairs health by preventing the production of enough hemoglobin-containing red blood cells.
Thus, all foods passing through the block will be deficient in red blood cells.
These devices are so effective that if only half of the red blood cells remain, oxygen delivery can still be around 75 percent of normal.
Coatings that mimic red blood cell coating may help nanoparticles avoid immune system attack.
He was cited for developing 51cr red blood cell labeling for clinical use.
Red blood cells accumulate behind the white blood cells to form a dark tail.
They work by providing the iron needed to make red blood cells.
Hemoglobinopathy, such as sickle cell disease, may have a low ESR due to irregular red blood cells that impair styling.
Graham’s first work concerned the study of red blood cells in men.
Hemoglobin is also found outside the red blood cells and their precursor lines.
Anemias are classified by the size of red blood cells, the cells that contain hemoglobin in vertebrates.
Endothelial cells can be found throughout the vascular system and they also play a vital role in the movement of white blood cells.
Other results

90,000 8 types of myeloproliferative neoplasms – Health

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), formerly called myeloproliferative disorders, are a group of diseases characterized by overproduction of one or more glues


Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), formerly called myeloproliferative disorders, are a group of diseases characterized by the overproduction of one or more blood cells (leukocytes, red blood cells and / or platelets). While you may associate the word “neoplasm” with cancer, it is not so straightforward.

A neoplasm is defined as abnormal tissue growth caused by a mutation and can be classified as benign (non-malignant), precancerous, or malignant (malignant). At the time of diagnosis, most myeloproliferative lesions are benign but can develop into malignant (cancerous) over time. This risk of developing cancer with this diagnosis underlines the importance of careful monitoring of your hematologist.

The classification of myeloproliferative neoplasms has changed somewhat over the past few years, but we will look at the general categories here.

Classic myeloproliferative neoplasms

Classical myeloproliferative neoplasms include:

  • Polycythemia vera (PV): PV is the result of a genetic mutation that causes an overproduction of red blood cells. Sometimes the number of white blood cells and platelets also increases.This increase in blood counts increases the risk of a blood clot. If you’ve been diagnosed with PV, you have a small chance of developing myelofibrosis or cancer.
  • Essential Thrombocythemia (ET): A genetic mutation in ET leads to an overproduction of platelets. An increased number of platelets in the bloodstream increases the risk of a blood clot. Your risk of developing cancer when diagnosed with ET is very small. ET is unique among MPNs because it is a diagnosis of exclusion. This means your doctor will rule out other causes of high platelet count (thrombocytosis), including other MPNs.
  • Primary myelofibrosis (PMF): Primary myelofibrosis was previously called idiopathic myelofibrosis or agogenic myeloid metaplasia. The PMF genetic mutation leads to scarring (fibrosis) of the bone marrow. This scar makes it difficult for the bone marrow to produce new blood cells. Unlike PV, PMF usually results in anemia (low red blood cell count). The number of white blood cells and platelets may increase or decrease.
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML): CML can also be called chronic myeloid leukemia. CML results from a genetic mutation called BCR / ABL1. This mutation results in an overproduction of granulocytes, such as white blood cells. Symptoms may be absent at first, and CML is often discovered incidentally during routine laboratory work.

Atypical myeloproliferative neoplasms

The “atypical” myeloproliferative neoplasms include:

  • Juvenile myomonocytic leukemia (JMML): JMML was formerly called juvenile CML.It is a rare form of leukemia that occurs during infancy and early childhood. The bone marrow overproduces myeloid leukocytes, especially those called monocytes (monocytosis). Children with type I neurofibromatosis and Noonan syndrome are at a higher risk of developing JMML than children without these genetic conditions.
  • Chronic neutrophilic leukemia. Chronic neutrophilic leukemia is a rare disease characterized by an overproduction of neutrophils, such as white blood cells. These cells can then enter your organs and cause the liver and spleen to enlarge (hepatosplenomegaly).
  • Chronic eosinophilic leukemia / hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES). Chronic eosinophilic leukemia and hypereosinophilic syndromes are a group of diseases characterized by an increased number of eosinophils (eosinophilia), which leads to damage to various organs. Certain HES populations act more like myeloproliferative neoplasms (hence the name chronic eosinophilic leukemia).
  • Mast cell disease: Systemic (ie, body-wide) mast cell disease or mastocytosis is a relatively new addition to the myeloproliferative neoplasm category.Mast cell diseases result from the overproduction of mast cells, a type of white blood cell, which then invade the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract, skin, spleen, and liver. This is in contrast to cutaneous mastocytosis, which only affects the skin. Mast cells release histamine, which leads to an allergic-type reaction in the affected tissue.

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