Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link

Overview of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms


Jane Liesveld

, MD, James P. Wilmot Cancer Institute, University of Rochester Medical Center

Last full review/revision Sep 2020| Content last modified Sep 2020
Click here for the Professional Version
Topic Resources

In myeloproliferative neoplasms (myelo = bone marrow; proliferative = rapid multiplication; and neoplasm = new abnormal growth), the blood-producing cells Formation of Blood Cells Red blood cells, most white blood cells, and platelets are produced in the bone marrow, the soft fatty tissue inside bone cavities. Two types of white blood cells, T and B cells (lymphocytes)... read more in the bone marrow (precursor cells, also called stem cells) develop and reproduce excessively or are crowded out by an overgrowth of fibrous tissue. Sometimes, blood-producing cells appear and reproduce in the spleen and liver. Myeloproliferative neoplasms are caused by genetic mutations. Typically the mutations are acquired and not inherited, although rarely there are families in which several members have these disorders.

The myeloproliferative neoplasms include

Each myeloproliferative neoplasm is identified according to its predominant bone marrow and blood characteristics. Each disorder has a somewhat typical set of examination findings, test results, and expected course; however, there may be some overlap of features among these disorders because they share the same genetic mutations.

The number of blood-producing cells in the bone marrow can also increase as a reaction to another underlying disorder. For example, lack of oxygen can cause the red blood cells to increase, a serious infection can cause the white blood cells to increase, and inflammation can cause the platelets to increase. In these cases, an increased number of cells in the bone marrow is not considered a myeloproliferative neoplasm but rather a benign reaction. Treating the underlying disorder restores the number of blood cells being produced to normal.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
Others also read

Test your knowledge

Special Blood Donation Procedures
What is the medical term for the procedure in which a person donates his or her own blood to be used if needed during or after a surgical procedure? 
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest

Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID