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July 8, 1974

Thrombotic-Hemorrhagic Diathesis of Polycythemia Vera Treated With Aspirin

JAMA. 1974;229(2):186-187. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230400048032

MUCH has been written in the recent literature concerning both platelet function and the use of antiplatelet drugs to control thrombotic complications of various disease entities. Polycythemia vera is complicated by a hemorrhagic-thrombotic diathesis in 33% to 50% of patients.1 We present a case of polycythemia vera in which the problem of disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC) syndrome was successfully treated with aspirin.

Report of a Case  A 70-year-old woman was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital Sept 18, 1972, with severe dyspnea and evidence of pulmonary edema. A previous admission to the same hospital in 1967 for severe headache, mild hypertension, and plethoric appearance led to the diagnosis of polycythemia vera. The pertinent laboratory data at that time were as follows: hemoglobin level, 21.0 gm/100 ml; hematocrit reading, 63%; white blood cell (WBC) count, 11,400/cu mm; and platelet count 488,000/cu mm. Roentgenograms of the chest and skull and intravenous pyelography were