June 1959

Myocardial Infarction as the Initial Manifestation of Polycythemia Vera

Author Affiliations

St. Louis

From the Department of Internal Medicine, St. Louis University School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;103(6):974-977. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270060126017

Vascular occlusions occur rather frequently in polycythemia vera. While venous thromboses are said to be commoner, arterial occlusion or insufficiency has been reported to occur in approximately 18% to 30% of several series.1-4 While at least one earlier report concluded that cardiac disease was uncommon in polycythemia vera,5 later articles have shown coronary artery disease to occur clinically in from 6% to 10% of cases 1,4,6 and to be the cause of death in approximately one-fourth of a small series prior to the use of radioactive phosphorus in therapy.3

Myocardial infarction occurring early in the course of polycythemia vera is apparently rare; we have been able to discover but one brief reference to the occurrence of this complication, in a previously undiagnosed (and presumably asymptomatic) case.7 The purpose of this communication is to report a 41-year-old patient who was discovered to have asymptomatic polycythemia vera at the time he had

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