Uncontrolled thrombocytosis in chronic myeloproliferative disorders

C. M. Kessler, H. G. Klein, R. J. Havlik

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84 Scopus citations


A retrospective study was performed to examine the natural course of uncontrolled thrombocytosis associated with chronic myeloproliferative disorders. Thirty-eight patients with polycythaemia rubra vera (PV), myelofibrosis/myeloid metaplasia (MM), chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML) or essential thrombocythaemia (ET) had platelet counts greater than 1000 x 109/l and were followed closely for a total of 246 patient years. Eleven of the patients experienced haemorrhagic episodes. Bleeding was twice as frequent in patients over 59 years old as in those younger and no bleeding occurred in those less than 51 years of age. There was no correlation between frequency of bleeding and extent of thrombocytosis. Bleeding events occurred concurrently with use of anti-inflammatory agents in 32% of episodes. The gastrointestinal tract was the most frequent site. Documented thrombotic events occurred in three patients, two of whom had PV with haematocrits greater than 53%. This study suggests that the thrombocytosis of myeloproliferative processes may pose a less serious threat than originally thought and that aggressive lowering of the platelet count may not be indicated in all cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-167
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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