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Polycythemia vera

Other Names for this Disease
  • Polycythemia rubra vera
  • Primary polycythemia
  • PRV
  • PV
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Polycythemia vera (PCV) is a condition characterized by an increased number of red blood cells in the bloodstream. Affected people may also have excess white blood cells and platelets. These extra cells cause the blood to be thicker than normal, increasing the risk for blood clots that can block blood flow in arteries and veins. People with PCV have an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis which can cause a pulmonary embolism; heart attack; and stroke. Most cases are not inherited and are acquired during a person's lifetime. In rare cases, the risk for PCV runs in families and may be inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. The condition has been associated with mutations in the JAK2 and TET2 genes.[1]
Last updated: 3/17/2014


  1. Polycythemia vera. Genetics Home Reference. July, 2013; Accessed 3/17/2014.
Your Questions Answered
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3 question(s) from the public on Polycythemia vera have been answered. See questions and answers. You can also submit a new question.

Basic Information

  • The CMPD Education Foundation provides online information on myeloproliferative disorders (MPD). Click on the link to view the resource.
  • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Polycythemia vera. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition. Click on the link to view the information.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • eMedicine has 2 articles on this topic from the perspective of Pediatrics: General Medicine and Hematology. You may need to register to view the information online, but registration is free. Click on the links above to view the articles from this medical reference Web site.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Polycythemia vera. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.