What are the symptoms of myeloproliferative diseases?

Symptoms depend on the type of myeloproliferative disease and the disease’s progression. Myeloproliferative diseases do not usually cause symptoms when they first develop.

An overproduction of white blood cells can cause:

  • Itchy skin
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Swollen eyes

An overproduction of red blood cells can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Pain or fullness in the left side of your abdomen
  • Itchy skin

An overproduction of platelets can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
  • Dizziness

Other general signs and symptoms include:

  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Unintentional weight loss

How are myeloproliferative diseases diagnosed?

Your symptoms may prompt your doctor to perform diagnostic tests for myeloproliferative diseases. In some cases, the condition is discovered unexpectedly when your doctor orders a blood test for another reason.

Our hematopathologists use the following advanced diagnostic methods to diagnose myeloproliferative diseases:

  • Blood tests. These reveal abnormal blood cell counts and show if blood cells are shaped or sized abnormally.
  • Bone marrow aspiration or biopsy. These tests look at a sample of liquid bone marrow or solid bone marrow to confirm your diagnosis. Your doctor obtains a bone marrow sample with a special needle that is typically inserted into the hip bone. A local anesthetic is used to numb the site of the procedure.
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