NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Myeloproliferative Neoplasms

32 NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Myeloproliferative Neoplasms, 2018 Part 4 is a treatment guide for polycythemia vera (PV, for short). It starts with describing how PV is found. Part 4 also explains the treatment process and options. Your doctor may suggest other options based on your health and wishes. Fully discuss your options with your doctor. Diagnosis PV is commonly found after a blood test that was given for another reason. The blood test may reveal a high hemoglobin level. See Figure 8 . Otherwise, a lot of your blood may consist of red blood cells (high hematocrit). More testing may reveal PV. PV is also found due to related symptoms or health problems. Related health problems include blood clots and bleeding. A common symptom is unpleasant skin sensations. These sensations often occur shortly after a bath or shower. Your skin may itch, tickle, sting, or burn. 4 Polycythemia vera Diagnosis Being diagnosed with PV at age 39 was a shock. I had never heard of MPN. – Susan Survivor, Polycythemia vera “ Figure 8 Key PV features A diagnosis of PV requires a high red cell mass, hematocrit, or hemoglobin level. These values will be obtained from a sample of your blood. Your blood will be spun so fast that the parts of the blood separate. Red cell mass is the volume of red blood cells. Hematocrit compares the volume of red blood cells to the total blood volume. For hemoglobin, your red blood cells will be broken down to free the hemoglobin. Then, the level will be measured. Copyright © 2017 National Comprehensive Cancer Network ® (NCCN ® ). Red blood cell mass is the volume (mL) of red blood cells 10 mL 7.5 mL Hematocrit is the percentage (%) of red blood cells 75% Hemoglobin is a protein within red blood cells Normal PV 10 mL 4.5 mL 45%