Impact of World Health Organization (WHO) Revised Criteria-2016 on the Diagnosis of Polycythemia Vera

Shrinidhi Nathany, Sindhura Lakshmi Koulmane Laxminarayana, Siddharth Tewari, Sushma Belurkar, Ruchee Khanna, Chethan Manohar

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The diagnosis of polycythemia vera (PV) requires the integration of clinical and laboratory findings, bone marrow morphologic features, and JAK2 analysis. JAK2V617F (exon 14) mutation is found in 95% of PV cases. In PV, addition of characteristic bone marrow morphology as one of three major diagnostic criteria allowed reduced hemoglobin/hematocrit threshold for diagnosis to 16.5 g/dL/49% in men and 16 g/dL/48% in women. JAK2 mutation is still the third major diagnostic criterion in PV. Low serum erythropoietin level is now considered as minor criterion in PV and is used to detect cases, which are negative for JAK2 mutation. In this retrospective study, cases diagnosed as PV from January 2013 to December 2015 were reclassified using WHO 2016 criteria. Their clinical and laboratory parameters along with treatment and outcome were studied. Out of 26 patients of previously diagnosed PV, either definitively or provisionally, twenty-one were found to comply with the new 2016 revision of the WHO Criteria. Median age was 55.5 years, with a male preponderance. The median values of hemoglobin, hematocrit and platelets were 17.5 gm/dL, 56.7% and 493 × 109/L, respectively. JAK2V617F was mutated in 17 cases. Bone marrow showed hypercellularity, panmyelosis and marked megakaryocyte dyspoiesis in all patients. All patients had normal oxygen saturation, confirming the primary nature of the disease. Our study, first of its kind in India, underscores the importance of the 2016 revision of the WHO document in detecting cases of masked PV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-483
Number of pages7
JournalIndian Journal of Hematology and Blood Transfusion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology


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