polycythemia vera

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(polycythaemia rubra vera, Vaquez-Osler disease) a disease in which the number of red cells in the blood is greatly increased (see also polycythaemia). There is often also an increase in the numbers of white blood cells and platelets. Symptoms include headache, thromboses, cyanosis, plethora, and itching. Polycythaemia vera may be treated by blood-letting, but more severe cases may need to be treated with cytotoxic drugs. The cause of the disease is not known.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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