Essential thrombocythemia is an uncommon disorder in which your body produces too many blood platelets (thrombocytes). It's also known as primary thrombocythemia (throm-boe-sigh-THEE-me-uh).
The most common symptoms of essential thrombocythemia include headache, lightheadedness, vision changes, and tingling, numbness or burning pain in the hands and feet. Essential thrombocythemia most often occurs in people over age 50 and is more common in women.
You may not need treatment for essential thrombocythemia if you don't have symptoms. If you have abnormal blood clotting or bleeding, however, medications can help you avoid potentially serious complications.
Sept. 22, 2012
- Thrombocythemia. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/hematology_and_oncology/myeloproliferative_disorders/essential_thrombocythemia.html. Accessed Aug. 8, 2012.
- Tefferi A. Diagnosis and clinical manifestations of essential thrombocythemia. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 8, 2012.
- What are thrombocythemia and thrombocytosis? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/thrm. Accessed Aug. 8, 2012.
- Essential thrombocythemia. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/myeloproliferative/HealthProfessional/page5. Accessed Aug. 8, 2012.
- Tefferi A. Prognosis and treatment of essential thrombocythemia. http://www.uptodate.com/index.html. Accessed Aug. 8, 2012.
- Myeloproliferative disorders. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/myelopro-disorders/start/2. Accessed Aug. 8, 2012.
- Valera MC, et al. Essential thrombocythemia and pregnancy. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. 2011;158:141.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.