Clinico-Epidemiological Profile of Patients with Polycythaemia Rubra Vera - a Five Year Experience from a Tertiary Care Center


Department of Hematology and Blood bank, Liaquat National Hospital and Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan


Background: Polycythaemia rubra vera (PV) is a Philadelphia chromosome negative myeloproliferative neoplasm characterized by increased red cell production, independent of the mechanisms that regulate normal erythropoiesis. The aim of this study was to analyze the clinico-epidemiological profile of Pakistani patients with PV. Materials and Methods: In this retrospective cross sectional study, 26 patients with PV were enrolled from January 2010 to December 2014. They were diagnosed based on WHO criteria. Results: The mean age was 53.49.31 years (range 36-72) and the male to female ratio was 2:1. Overall 30.7% of patients were asymptomatic. In symptomatic patients, major complaints were headache (30.8%), abdominal discomfort (23.1%), blurred vision (15.3%), pruritus (11.5%) and vascular incidents (11.5%). Physical examination revealed plethoric face and splenomegaly as predominant findings, detected in 34.6% and 30.7%, respectively, with the mean splenic span of 15.92.04cm. The mean hemoglobin was 18.11.9 g/dl with the mean hematocrit of 55.68.3%. The mean total leukocyte count was 12.87.1x109/l and the platelet count 511341.9x109/l. Mean erythrocyte sedimentation rate was 3.51.22mm/hr. Serum lactate dehydrogenase, serum creatinine and uric acid were 552.7309.2, 0.80.17 and 6.601.89 respectively. Conclusions: PV in Pakistani patients, unlike in the West, is seen in a moderately young population. The disease is frequently seen in male gender and primarily patients present with symptoms related to hyperviscosity.