Myeloproliferative Disorders

An Overview of Myeloproliferative Disorders

Myeloproliferative disorders are a group of conditions that affect the blood. These conditions involve abnormal growth and functioning of the blood cells, and they can increase your risk for other serious diseases, such as cancer. Examples of myeloproliferative disorders include chronic myelogenous leukemia, polycythemia vera, and essential thrombocythemia.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of myeloproliferative disorders vary depending on the type of disorder you have. Some common signs and symptoms may include:

  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Night sweats
  • Frequent infections
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss

Additionally, people with myeloproliferative disorders may experience pruritus (a severe itching sensation) or bleeding issues, such as easy bruising or heavy periods.


Myeloproliferative disorders occur when your bone marrow produces too many cells, or when cells don’t mature correctly. This may be due to chromosomal abnormalities, environmental factors, or certain types of viral infections. Specific causes of each type of disorder vary.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of myeloproliferative disorders, it is important to see your doctor so you can be properly evaluated and treated. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and may order a variety of tests to make a diagnosis. These may include a complete blood count, a peripheral blood smear, and a bone marrow aspiration or biopsy.

Treatment for myeloproliferative disorders is individualized and may involve medications, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, depending on the type of disorder you have. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary.