Rapid Review: Polycythemia Vera

October 12, 2017
Polycythemia vera

Polycythemia Vera

  • Patient will be complaining of headachedizzinesspruritus after showering
  • PE will show hypertension, splenomegaly
  • Labs will show increased RBC mass, overproduction of all cell lines, increased Hgb
  • Most commonly caused by mutation of the Janus kinase 2 gene (JAK2)
  • Treatment is phlebotomy, hydroxyurea, aspirin

Sample question:

A 60-year-old man presents to your office complaining of generalized pruritus following warm showers. He also states that he has been fatigued and had several nosebleeds in the past month. Physical exam reveals splenomegaly and engorged retinal veins. You suspect polycythemia vera. Which of the following findings will confirm that your diagnosis?

By Yehuda Wolf, MPA, PA-C

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