Polycythemia Vera (PV) is a rare hematological tumor belonging to the group of chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms, characterized by an increase in red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
PV has an estimated incidence rate of approximately 1.9-2.3 new cases per 100,000 person-years. The average age at diagnosis is between 60 and 65 years. Some patients come to the doctor's attention incidentally when a change in routine blood tests is reported.
The most common symptoms of PV include headache, weakness and itching. Itching, especially after bathing or showering (aquagenic), is characteristic of the disease. Many patients also report other complaints such as dizziness, visual disturbances and superficial thrombophlebitis.
PV can also lead to the onset of major thrombotic events such as stroke, acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These events are the main cause of mortality in the disease.
PV is diagnosed according to WHO criteria, based on parameters such as increased hematocrit, presence of the JAK2 mutation (characteristic of PV) and alterations in bone marrow.
The treatment of PV aims to preventing thrombotic events and improving symptoms. Various therapies can be used, such as aspirin and drugs that reduce the number of red blood cells. The choice between the various options depends on the patient's condition.