font size

Definition of Polycythemia vera (PV)

Polycythemia vera (PV): Overproduction (proliferation) of red blood cells due to bone marrow disease (myeloproferative disorder). Polycythemia vera tends to evolve into acute leukemia or a condition with the marrow replaced by scar tissue (myelofibrosis).

To have Polycythemia vera, there must be polycythemia which formally exists when the hemoglobin, red blood cell (RBC) count, and total RBC volume are all above normal. For example, the hematocrit (the percentage of red blood cells in whole blood), normal range is from about 42 to about 52% in adult males and from about 37 to about 48% in adult females. The hematocrit in polycythemia is significantly above 52% in men and above 48% in females. In 40 to 60% of cases there are elevations of white blood count and platelet count. B12 level is usually elevated as well.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4983
Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

Cancer

Get the latest treatment options.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations