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Polycythemia (High Red Blood Cell Count) (cont.)

Polycythemia Primary Causes

In primary polycythemia, inherent or acquired problems with red blood cell production lead to polycythemia. Two main conditions that belong to this category are polycythemia vera (PV or polycythemia rubra vera [PRV]) and primary familial and congenital polycythemia (PFCP).

  • Polycythemia vera (PV) is related to a genetic mutation in the JAK2 gene, which is thought to increase the sensitivity of bone marrow cells to Epo, resulting in increased red blood cell production. Levels of other types of blood cells (white blood cells and platelets) are also often increased in this condition.
  • Primary familial and congenital polycythemia (PFCP) is a condition related to a mutation in the EPOR gene and causes increased production of red blood cells in response to Epo.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/30/2014

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