Issues in the Diagnosis and Management of Essential Thrombocythemia


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40 Scopus citations


To summarize the current trends in the diagnosis and management of essential thrombocythemia (ET) and to discuss the treatment of young and pregnant patients with ET. We review our experiences in the diagnosis and management of ET. A definitive diagnosis of ET at initial examination is seldom possible because of the low incidences of associated clonal cytogenetic abnormalities and palpable splenomegaly. The criteria of the Polycythemia Vera Study Group for the diagnosis of ET are provided, as are the clinical and laboratory features that help to distinguish ET from reactive thrombocytosis. Patients with ET have an almost normal life expectancy if thrombohemorrhagic complications are controlled. Although a previous history of thrombosis is an established risk factor for further episodes, the adverse effects of extreme thrombocytosis and age are less well defined. Determining which patients require therapy is controversial. The management of young or pregnant patients necessitates special considerations. Until additional data become available, no strong recommendations can be given in support of or against specific therapy for asymptomatic young patients. We favor treatment in asymptomatic patients with cardiovascular risk factors but not in asymptomatic women who are pregnant or are of childbearing age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-655
Number of pages5
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • C-reactive protein
  • CGL
  • CMPDs
  • CRP
  • ET
  • IL 6
  • MMM
  • NSAIDs
  • PV
  • RT
  • chronic granulocytic leukemia
  • chronic myeloproliferative disorders
  • essential thrombocythemia
  • interleukin 6
  • myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • polycythemia vera
  • reactive thrombocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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