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What are some signs that may help identify patients with high-risk polycythemia vera (PV)?

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I guess really the patients that are in danger are the patients who don’t have access to a hematologist. They get managed by their primary care who may not fully understand the risks of having PV and uncontrolled hematocrit. That’s the scenario that I’ve seen. And then for the hematologist, I think that because patients do well for a while, I think sometimes they forget the hematocrit goal or don’t realize how important it is to reduce the patient’s risk for thrombotic events by getting the hematocrit below 45 for men and then below 42 for women.

Symptoms associated with PV is a marker of cytokine levels in their blood, and uncontrolled symptoms might be a marker that their PV is very active and their hematocrit is very high. The ultimate red flag, of course, is presenting with a thrombotic event.

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Kim-Hien Dao, DO, PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine Knight Cancer Institute, Center for Hematologic Malignancies Oregon Health & Science University | Portland, OR
Dr Kim-Hien Dao serves as the Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)–Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN) Disease Group Leader at the Center for Hematologic Malignancies at Oregon Health & Science University. She is a member of the American Society of Hematology and Myeloproliferative Disorders (MPD) Research Consortium and is active in clinical research trials in MDS and MPNs. Dr Dao has an NIH-funded basic research program focusing on marrow failure in Fanconi anemia, myelodysplasia, and MPNs.