Chapter 103. Polycythemia Vera and Other Myeloproliferative Diseases (Part 5)

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Chapter 103. Polycythemia Vera and Other Myeloproliferative Diseases (Part 5)

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Chronic Idiopathic Myelofibrosis Chronic IMF (other designations include agnogenic myeloid metaplasia or myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia) is a clonal disorder of a multipotent hematopoietic progenitor cell of unknown etiology characterized by marrow fibrosis, extramedullary hematopoiesis, and splenomegaly. Chronic IMF is the least common chronic myeloproliferative disorder, and establishing this diagnosis in the absence of a specific clonal marker is difficult because myelofibrosis and splenomegaly are also features of both PV and CML. Furthermore, myelofibrosis and splenomegaly also occur in a variety of benign and malignant disorders (Table 103-3), many of which are amenable to specific therapies not effective in chronic...

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  1. Chapter 103. Polycythemia Vera and Other Myeloproliferative Diseases (Part 5) Chronic Idiopathic Myelofibrosis Chronic IMF (other designations include agnogenic myeloid metaplasia or myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia) is a clonal disorder of a multipotent hematopoietic progenitor cell of unknown etiology characterized by marrow fibrosis, extramedullary hematopoiesis, and splenomegaly. Chronic IMF is the least common chronic myeloproliferative disorder, and establishing this diagnosis in the absence of a specific clonal marker is difficult because myelofibrosis and splenomegaly are also features of both PV and CML. Furthermore, myelofibrosis and splenomegaly also occur in a variety of benign and malignant disorders (Table 103-3), many of which are amenable to specific therapies not effective in chronic IMF. In contrast to the other chronic myeloproliferative disorders and so-called acute or malignant myelofibrosis, which can occur at any age, chronic IMF primarily afflicts individuals in their sixth decade or later.
  2. Table 103-3 Disorders Causing Myelofibrosis Malignant Nonmalignant Acute leukemia (lymphocytic, HIV infection myelogenous, megakaryocytic) Hyperparathyroidism Chronic myelogenous leukemia Renal osteodystrophy Hairy cell leukemia Systemic lupus Hodgkin disease erythematosus Idiopathic myelofibrosis Tuberculosis Lymphoma Vitamin D deficiency Multiple myeloma Thorium dioxide exposure Myelodysplasia Gray platelet syndrome Polycythemia vera Systemic mastocytosis Etiology
  3. The etiology of chronic IMF is unknown. Nonrandom chromosome abnormalities such as 9p, 20q–, 13q–, trisomy 8 or 9, or partial trisomy 1q are common, but no cytogenetic abnormality specific to the disease has been identified. The degree of myelofibrosis and the extent of extramedullary hematopoiesis are also not related. Fibrosis in this disorder is associated with overproduction of transforming growth factor βand tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases, while osteosclerosis is associated with overproduction of osteoprotegerin, an osteoclast inhibitor. Marrow angiogenesis occurs due to increased production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Importantly, fibroblasts in chronic IMF are polyclonal and not part of the neoplastic clone. Clinical Features No signs or symptoms are specific for chronic IMF. Many patients are asymptomatic at presentation, and the disease is usually detected by the discovery of splenic enlargement and/or abnormal blood counts during a routine examination. However, in contrast to its companion myeloproliferative disorders, night sweats, fatigue, and weight loss may be presenting complaints. A blood smear shows the characteristic features of extramedullary hematopoiesis: teardrop- shaped red cells, nucleated red cells, myelocytes, and promyelocytes; myeloblasts may also be present (Fig. 103-1). Anemia, usually mild initially, is the rule, while the leukocyte and platelet counts are either normal or increased, but either can be depressed. Mild hepatomegaly may accompany the splenomegaly but is unusual in
  4. the absence of splenic enlargement; isolated lymphadenopathy should suggest another diagnosis. Both serum lactate dehydrogenase and alkaline phosphatase levels can be elevated. The LAP score can be low, normal, or high. Marrow is usually inaspirable due to the myelofibrosis (Fig. 103-2), and bone x-rays may reveal osteosclerosis. Exuberant extramedullary hematopoiesis can cause ascites, portal, pulmonary or intracranial hypertension, intestinal or ureteral obstruction, pericardial tamponade, spinal cord compression, or skin nodules. Splenic enlargement can be sufficiently rapid to cause splenic infarction with fever and pleuritic chest pain. Hyperuricemia and secondary gout may ensue. Figure 103-1
  5. Teardrop-shaped red blood cells indicative of membrane damage from passage through the spleen, a nucleated red blood cell, and immature myeloid cells indicative of extramedullary hematopoiesis are noted. This peripheral blood smear is related to any cause of extramedullary hematopoiesis.

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