Polycythemia

Polycythemia is an abnormal increase in the number of red blood cells produced by the bone marrow. The extra numbers of red blood cells cause blood to thicken and may increase the risk for blood clots that may cause heart attacks or strokes.

Treatment for polycythemia (also called erythrocythemia) sometimes involves removing red blood cells (much like donating blood) from the blood. However, this procedure may decrease iron levels in the body.

Last Updated: April 20, 2009

Author: Robin Parks, MS

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.