Polycythaemia vera is generally regarded as a clinical entity caused by primary hyperplasia of the erythroblastic elements of the bone marrow. Its origin is unknown. It is seen infrequently by the internist and even more rarely by the ophthalmologist, as vision is seldom disturbed. Examination of the fundus, however, is likely to reveal early characteristic lesions which are of value in the diagnosis. In view of these considerations I have decided to present this subject, together with a brief report of a few cases.
Although the term polycythemia signifies an increase in the cellular elements of the blood, it is now generally applied to an increase in the number of red blood cells or erythrocytes ; therefore the disease is often called erythremia. Vaquez1 in 1892 was the first to describe polycythemia, in an article entitled "Cyanosis with Polycythemia," while William Osler2 in 1903 presented the
COHEN M. LESIONS OF THE FUNDUS IN POLYCYTHEMIAREPORT OF CASES. Arch Ophthalmol. 1937;17(5):811–818. doi:10.1001/archopht.1937.00850050059004
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