What Is Myelofibrosis?


Quick Answer

Myelofibrosis is a disorder of the bone marrow that interferes with normal production of blood cells, Mayo Clinic explains. It can scar the bone marrow, leading to fatigue, anemia, an enlarged spleen and liver and weakness. Diseases that may also cause bone scarring include leukemia, lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndrome.

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Genetic mutation of the blood stem cells may lead to myelofibrosis, states Mayo Clinic. Formation of more mutated cells causes serious effects on blood production, leading to inadequate red blood cells. This causes overproduction of white blood cells and anemia.

Symptoms of myelofibrosis include pale skin, easy bleeding, body weakness and breath shortness as a result of anemia, excessive sweating during sleep, pain or fullness below the ribs due to an enlarged spleen, bone pain and fever, according to Mayo Clinic. Tests that may be performed to diagnose myelofibrosis include genetic testing, a complete blood count with blood smear and a lactate dehydrogenase enzyme level, MedlinePlus explains.

Factors that increase the risk of myelofibrosis infection include exposure to radiation, age, exposure to certain chemicals and blood cell disorders, says Mayo Clinic. The treatment myelofibrosis includes splenectomy if swelling causes symptoms or anemia. Other treatments are radiation, chemotherapy and blood transfusion. For a young patient, transplantation of the bone marrow may improve the outlook and cure the disease, notes MedlinePlus.

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