About this disease
What it is about
Essential thrombocythemia belongs to the family of myeloproliferative disorders. This is a group of diseases characterized by excessive production of different blood cells or structures in the bone marrow. In addition to ET, myeloproliferative disorders include chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), polycythemia vera (PV), and primary myelofibrosis (PMF).
Symptoms and consequences
In ET, due to a genetic change in the blood stem cell, there is an increase in the activity of the bone marrow: too many blood platelets (thrombocytes) are produced and flushed out into the blood. This excess of platelets can lead to the blood becoming "thicker", flowing more poorly through the vessels and clogging them. This leads to thrombosis. Paradoxically, however, bleeding can also occur because the high platelets can reduce the concentration of certain clotting factors in the blood.
What we do for you
Examination and diagnosis
It is important to record the symptoms and complaints precisely. A blood test provides information about the extent of the platelet elevation, and often the triggering mutation of the blood stem cell can also be detected. In order to classify the disease more precisely and to differentiate it from other myeloproliferative diseases, a bone marrow puncture is usually performed. In this procedure, cells or tissue are removed from the bone marrow using a fine needle and then examined.
The aim of treatment for essential thrombocythemia is primarily to normalize the platelets in order to avoid possible complications. This can be achieved with drugs that curb excessive cell production in the bone marrow. In addition, the use of a blood thinner (ASA) is often recommended.