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November 1960

Polycythemia Vera: A Review of Fifty Cases with Emphasis on the Risk of Surgery

Author Affiliations

Charlottesville, Va.

From the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, and the University of Virginia Hospital, Charlottesville, Va. Present address: Massachusetts Memorial Hospitals, Boston (Dr. Rigby).

Arch Intern Med. 1960;106(5):622-627. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03820050034007

Introduction  Polycythemia vera was first described by Vaquez in 1892.1 Osler, in 1903, collected 6 cases and proposed that this syndrome constituted a new clinical entity.2 At the present time polycythemia vera is usually classified as one of the myeloproliferative syndromes,3,4 because apparent transformations among polycythemia vera, acute leukemia, chronic myelocytic leukemia, myelofibrosis, and Digulielmo's syndrome have been observed; however, the cause of all these syndromes remains obscure. Polycythemia vera has been the subject of some excellent reviews.5-7The purpose of this paper is to review the clinical course, complications, and prognosis of polycythemia vera as exemplified by a group of 50 patients, with particular reference to the problem of surgical risk in this disorder.

Materials and Methods  The records of 50 patients with polycythemia vera seen at the University of Virginia Hospital between the years of 1940 and 1958 have been reviewed. Information about these patients has been obtained

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