Coronary Vasculopathy in Polycythemia Vera

Benita HERMANNS1, Stefan HANDT1, Joachim KINDLER2, László FÜZESI1

1Department of Pathology, Medical Faculty of the Technical University of Aachen, Aachen, Germany
2Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Marienhöhe, Würselen, Germany


Thrombosis is a common complication in polycythemia often causing death. In coronary artery occlusion, thrombosis due to hyperviscosity and thrombocytosis is mostly discussed as the origin of the infarction. We discuss the case of a 30-year-old male patient, with polycythemia, who died of myocardial infarction. On autopsy the vessels showed neither ateriosclerotic changes nor thrombotic occlusions. Instead, a marked intima proliferation was found leading to multiple occlusions whereas media and adventitia were unchanged. This pattern of a coronary vasculopathy has not been described before, and can be interpreted as an alternative mechanism for vascular occlusion in polycythemia. Similar histopathological changes have already been found in skin lesions in erythromelalgia, a common symptom in polycythemia. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 4, Nr 1, 37-39, 1998

Key words: polycythaemia vera; myocardial infarction; coronary vasculary disease; intima proliferation

Received: Sep 14, 1997; accepted: Jan 15, 1998
Correspondence: László FÜZESI, Department of Pathology, Medical Faculty of the Technical University of Aachen, Pauwelsstr. 30 Aachen D-52057, Germany; Tel: +49-241-8089281, Fax: +49-241-8888439

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