Red cell mass measurement in patients with clinically suspected diagnosis of polycythemia vera or essential thrombocythemia

Alberto Alvarez-Larrán, Agueda Ancochea, Anna Angona, Carme Pedro, Francesc García-Pallarols, Luz Martínez-Avilés, Beatriz Bellosillo, Carlos Besses

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34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The cut off for hemoglobin or hematocrit that indicates the need for an isotopic red cell mass study was investigated in 179 patients with a presumptive diagnosis of polycythemia vera or essential thrombocythemia. Hematocrit showed better diagnostic accuracy than hemoglobin. Hemoglobin over 18.5 g/dL in males or over 16.5 g/dL in females showed a high specificity indicating that red cell mass study could be avoided in such cases, but it showed low sensitivity leading to 46% false negatives. The best value of hematocrit to indicate a red cell mass study was 0.50 L/L in males (specificity 75%, sensitivity 87.5%) and 0.48 L/L in females (specificity 73%, sensitivity 94%). Lowering the hematocrit threshold to 0.48 L/L in males increased sensitivity up to 95%. A red cell mass study should be performed in patients with suspected diagnosis of essential thrombocythemia or polycythemia vera and with hematocrit between 0.48 L/L and 0.52 L/L. ©2012 Ferrata Storti Foundation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1704-1707
JournalHaematologica
Volume97
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012

Keywords

  • Essential thrombocythemia
  • Hematocrit
  • Hemoglobin
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Red cell mass

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