Pruritus in polycythaemia vera: Prevalence, laboratory correlates and management

Felix Diehn, Ayalew Tefferi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


In a retrospective cohort, 192 (48%) out of 397 patients with polycythaemia vera had a documented history of pruritus. At diagnosis, the presence of pruritus was significantly associated with a lower mean corpuscular volume and a higher leucocyte count. Among 66 patients with documentation of treatment for pruritus, 389 'patient visits' were reviewed, revealing a significant correlation between active pruritus and low mean corpuscular volume, but not platelet, leucocyte or basophil count. Paroxetine and hydroxyzine were rated by patients to be the most effective drugs in controlling pruritus. These observations suggest a pathogenetic role for both iron deficiency and biogenic amines in polycythaemia vera-associated pruritus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-621
Number of pages3
JournalBritish journal of haematology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Iron deficiency
  • Microcytosis
  • Polycythaemia vera
  • Pruritus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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