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Ann Intern Med. 1983 Oct;99(4):513-8.

Neurologic manifestations of essential thrombocythemia.


Essential thrombocythemia is a clonal myeloproliferative disorder, characterized predominantly by a markedly elevated platelet count without known cause. We report a case that was recognized during investigation of a transient ischemic attack, and review the neurologic findings in 33 patients with unequivocal essential thrombocythemia under prospective study by the Polycythemia Vera Study Group. Twenty-one patients had neurologic manifestations at some point during their course, including headache (13 patients), paresthesiae (10), posterior cerebral circulatory ischemia (9), anterior cerebral circulatory ischemia (6), visual disturbances (6) and epileptic seizures (2). All patients with neurologic symptoms responded satisfactorily to treatment, although continuous or repeated treatment was often required. Therapeutic recommendations include plateletpheresis for major thrombo-hemorrhagic phenomena, or megakaryocyte suppression with radioactive phosphorus, alkylating agents (such as melphalan), or hydroxyurea; minor symptoms may respond to platelet antiaggregating agents.

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