December 1967

Polycythemia Vera in the Childbearing Age

Author Affiliations

Lackland Air Force Base, Tex

From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Dr. Harris), and the Hematology Section, Department of Medicine (Dr. Conrad), Wilford Hall USAF Hospital, Aerospace Medical Division (AFSC), Lackland Air Force Base, Tex. Doctor Harris is now at the USAF Hospital Andrews, Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, DC 20331.

Arch Intern Med. 1967;120(6):697-700. doi:10.1001/archinte.1967.00300050053008

POLYCYTHEMIA VERA is a medical disorder that is recognized infrequently in young women. However, it does occur and it should be regarded as a significant cause of complications. Only three patients with polycythemia vera coinciding with pregnancy have been reported,1-3 and in these reports there was no specific consideration of the problems of infertility, fetal wastage, and preeclampsia. At Wilford Hall USAF Hospital five women in the childbearing age have been found to have polycythemia vera. In two of these cases the diagnosis was made during pregnancy; the authors believe this to be the first time it was ever diagnosed during pregnancy. This report illustrates the problems of the five women with respect to infertility and complications of pregnancy.

Report of Cases 

CASE 1.  —An 18-year-old white woman, P 00-0-0, was presented at 20 weeks' gestation with symptoms of chronic fatigue, nausea, and occasional emesis. Physical examination was within

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