Last updated:09-05-2008
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Definition and causes

The formation and decomposition of the blood cells are normally in balance, so that will be formed the number of cells, which are broken down. By polycytæmi build up too many red and white blood cells, and some forms of the disease build up too many platelets. This makes the blood more viscous, and the risk of developing blood clots and bleeding are greater than otherwise. Polycytæmi divided into 3 subtypes:

Polycytaemia vera, PV
By Polycytaemia vera, PV, is an uncontrolled formation of especially the red blood cells (erythrocytes) and partly the white blood cells and platelets, leading to a state with the increased number of blood cells in the blood.

The reason for that is happening these increased formation of blood cells is unknown.

The incidence of new cases in Denmark is about. 100 a year.

Secondary polycytæmi, secondary PC
This form is characterized by a state with the increased number of red blood cells in the blood due to an increased production of erytropoietin (EPO) in the kidneys. This increased production may be due to the following:

  • Appropriate increase in the production of EPO can be caused by reduced ilttilbud to tissue caused by heart / lungefejl, smoking or stay at a height where the ambient concentrations of oxygen is less.

  • Inappropriate increase in the production of EPO may be due nyretumorer.

The incidence of this disease is rare.

Furthermore, elevated by artificially produced EPO in athletes who receive EPO injected in the blood to improve their absorption of oxygen.

Polycytaemia spuria
This disease is characterized by a chronic state of elevated haematocrit (number of red blood cells, measured in% of the total blood volume), ie. there are relatively more number of red blood cells in the blood.

In this type there is less plasma in the blood than red blood cells.
The cause is unknown, but there are studies that suggest that smoking may cause polycytaemia spuria.

Symptoms of polycytæmi

Symptombilledet vary widely, and there are cases where the disease do not show some symptoms and detected only when there is rutinetjek of blood pressure and blood samples from the physician. In other cases, the disease manifested by sudden blood clots in heart , Lungs or leg .

The typical symptoms are:

  • Headache and fatigue.

  • Hudkløe and dizziness.

  • Svedtendens and visual disturbances.

  • Weight loss, følelsesforstyrrelser and shortness of breath.

The above symptoms are not polycytaemia spuria.

Precautions and diagnosis

Is there evidence of the above symptoms, it is not to say that we have polycytæmi, as these symptoms shown by many diseases. However, we must consult a doctor because these symptoms indicates that the body does not function normally.

At the doctor can make the diagnosis by taking a blood sample and look at the content of cells in the blood. A knoglemarvsundersøgelse can contribute to the determination of the disease.

Consideration of polycytæmi

The primary treatment is venesectio (haemorrhage), which brave blood from a vein. On the way timber Monday in blood levels of red cells. If you have a number of red blood cells, located high above the mean, you have made venesectio around. 3 each. days at the beginning. Have we been given the number of red blood cells down around value, may be limited venesectio around. 1 once each. months.

If the number of platelets also increased, the deal Monday with cellegifte, which stops cell proliferation in the bone marrow. In this way reduces celleantallet of the cells, which share frequently.

Select and complications

Untreated, there is a significant increased risk of developing stroke , blood clot in leg , myocardial infarction , myeloid leukaemia .

It is a disease that requires lifelong monitoring and treatment, but the disease is velbehandlet, is forecast good, and you have the life which corresponds to the average.




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Myelomatose (Knoglemarvskræft)
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