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Am J Med. 1992 Nov;93(5):498-504.

Cardiac involvement in patients with myeloproliferative disorders.

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Department of Cardiology, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.



To evaluate cardiac involvement in myeloproliferative disorders (MPD), two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiographic studies were performed in 30 patients with MPD.


There were 18 women and 12 men, with an age range from 35 to 76 years. Eighteen patients had polycythemia vera (PV), 8 had essential thrombocythemia (ET), and 4 had agnogenic myeloid metaplasia (AMM).


Echocardiography revealed valvular lesions in 19 of 30 patients (63%) compared with only 1 of 22 patients (4.5%) in a control group of patients referred for echocardiography to exclude a cardiac source for idiopathic systemic thromboembolism (chi 2 = 13.39, p < 0.001, by chi 2 test with Yates' correction). Valvular lesions were found in 77% of patients with PV, 50% with ET, and 25% with AMM (p = NS). The aortic and mitral valves were the most commonly involved valves, and the most common echocardiographic lesion was leaflet thickening, which was found in 12 patients (40%), followed by vegetations, which were observed in 5 patients (16%). In their past history, 14 of 30 (47%) MPD patients had arterial or venous thrombosis or embolism. Twelve of 19 (63%) patients with valvular lesions had thromboembolism compared with only 2 of 11 (18%) patients without evidence of valvular lesions (chi 2 = 3.99, p < 0.05, by chi 2 test with Yates' correction). Pulmonary hypertension, unrelated to the severity of valvular disease and probably resulting from pulmonary venous occlusion, was found in four patients (13%).


We conclude that the heart is frequently involved in patients with MPD, particularly when their past history is complicated by a thromboembolic event. Some patients have clinically significant valvular disease. Pulmonary hypertension is another relatively common finding in MPD patients. Echocardiography provides information of clinical significance in MPD patients. A larger number of patients is needed to determine whether the presence of valvular lesions is of prognostic significance and may herald future thromboembolic events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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