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October 28, 1974

Aspirin Treatment in Polycythemia

Author Affiliations

Miami, Fla

JAMA. 1974;230(4):539-540. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240040017016

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To the Editor.—  The article by Drs. Joel M. Levin and Terry L. Ostrowski (229:186, 1974) was of great interest.I have been treating a 44-year-old man since 1969 for coronary insufficiency complicated by polycythemia vera. Cine arteriography revealed diffuse segmental disease throughout the right coronary artery, and the anterior descending branch was narrowed by 50%. Interestingly enough, he knew when he needed a phlebotomy, as evidenced by increasing anginal pain at times when his hemoglobin levels were 20.0 gm/100 ml or more. Phlebotomy invariably improved his chest pain.Due to his added coronary artery disease, he was given dipyridamole for a period of two months to decrease platelet adhesiveness and forestall possible thrombotic episodes. However, he still complained of anginal pain and required further phlebotomy.On Jan 8, 1972, he was given two tablets daily, each containing 500 mg of aspirin plus buffering agents. He has become free of