Objective: To describe presenting clinical manifestations, long-term disease complications, prognostic inidicators, and outcome of pregnancy for women younger than 50 years with essential thrombocythemia. Patients and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of all patients with essential thrombocythemia evaluated at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn, between 1969 and 1991 and identified 74 young women (median age, 35 years; range, 18-48 years) with essential thrombocythemia. The diagnosis was based on previously established criteria. Median follow-up was 9.2 years (range, 0.2-26.2 years). Results: Overall survival was similar to that of an age- and sex-matched control population. Thrombotic events (except superficial thrombophlebitis) occurred at and after diagnosis in 11 patients (15%) and 13 patients (18%), respectively. A history of thrombosis at diagnosis was significantly associated with recurrent thrombosis (P=.93). A platelet count higher than 1500 × 109/L at diagnosis was significantly associated with gastrointestinal tract bleeding and subsequent development of venous (but not arterial) thrombosis (P=.04). Major hemorrhagic events occurred in only 3 patients (4%) after diagnosis. Only 1 patient developed acute leukemia. Thirty-four pregnancies occurred in 18 patients. Of these, 17 (50%) resulted in live births. Of the 17 patients with unsuccessful pregnancies, 14 had spontaneous abortions, 1 had an ectopic pregnancy, and 2 had elective abortions. Preconception platelet count, thrombotic history, or specific therapy was not useful in predicting pregnancy outcome. Conclusion: Young women with essential thrombocythemia can expect long survival with a low incidence of life-threatening thrombohemorrhagic complications or acute leukemia. There is an increased incidence of firsttrimester miscarriages that may not be influenced by specific therapy.
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