Myocardial Infarction as the Initial Manifestation of Polycythemia Vera

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;103(6):974-977. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270060126017.
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Vascular occlusions occur rather frequently in polycythemia vera. While venous thromboses are said to be commoner, arterial occlusion or insufficiency has been reported to occur in approximately 18% to 30% of several series.1-4 While at least one earlier report concluded that cardiac disease was uncommon in polycythemia vera,5 later articles have shown coronary artery disease to occur clinically in from 6% to 10% of cases 1,4,6 and to be the cause of death in approximately one-fourth of a small series prior to the use of radioactive phosphorus in therapy.3

Myocardial infarction occurring early in the course of polycythemia vera is apparently rare; we have been able to discover but one brief reference to the occurrence of this complication, in a previously undiagnosed (and presumably asymptomatic) case.7 The purpose of this communication is to report a 41-year-old patient who was discovered to have asymptomatic polycythemia vera at the time he had


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