My Sanford Chart allows you secure online access to your personal health information and your child's health information. It's available anywhere you have internet access. There is no cost to you and registering is quick and simple.
Polycythemia vera is an abnormal increase in blood cells, primarily red blood cells (polycythemia) but also white blood cells and platelets. As numbers of blood cells rise, the blood becomes thicker. This increases the risk for dangerous blood clots (thrombosis).
The cause of polycythemia vera is not known. Most often, this rare disease does not cause medical problems. In some cases, the cell growth increases and can cause leukemia.
Symptoms include a headache, itchiness, and a reddish face.
Treatment may include removal of blood (phlebotomy) on a regular basis, such as weekly, until the blood cell count is normal. Medicine might be used to slow down the production of red blood cells.
Last Revised: November 26, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.