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April 15, 1961

Erythrocytosis Associated with Carcinoma of the Kidney

Author Affiliations


From the Blood Research Laboratory of the Pratt Diagnostic Clinic, New England Center Hospital, and the Department of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Rosenbach is a Fellow of the National Cancer Institute. He is now at the Postgraduate Medical School of London.

JAMA. 1961;176(2):136-137. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.63040150001012

THE ASSOCIATION of erythrocytosis with a variety of lesions of the kidney has been noted in an increasing number of cases. Hypernephroma has been the most common lesion, with some 49 cases having been reported, mostly within the last 5 years. The papers of Damon et al.1 and Lawrence and Donald2 record most of these cases. The 11 cases of non-neoplastic renal lesions with erythrocytosis have been summarized by Jones et al.3

From the hematologic standpoint, erythrocytosis is evident, with elevation of the hemoglobin, hematocrit, and red blood cell count, but, in contrast to polycythemia vera, leukocytosis, thrombocytosis, and splenomegaly are all lacking. The leukocyte alkaline phosphatase level, which is almost invariably elevated in polycythemia vera, is normal in renal erythrocytosis.4

The relationship of a humoral factor controlling erythropoiesis (erythropoietin) and the kidney has been supported by a large body of experimental work.5-8 Plasma erythropoietin