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Houma, LA
A 17-year-old male asked:

I was diagnosed with polycythemia for last 2 yrs, but haven't had bone marrow byopsie to confirm polycythemia vera are not. what else could it be?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Lots of things: At age 18, polycythemia vera would be surprising. I am more concerned that you may have a right-to-left heart shunt, a high-affinity hemoglobin, or any of a host of other causes of secondary polycythemia. Today the diagnosis of p vera might be made on genetic analysis & finding low erythropoietin, which could be done without a 2 year delay. Consider a 2nd opinion.

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Last updated Dec 9, 2013

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