MYH9 related platelet disorders are a relatively rare cause of thrombocytopenia. Located on chromosome 22, the MYH9 gene encodes the motorprotein non-muscular myosin heavy chain IIA (NMMHCIIA). Heterozygous defects in this gene lead to 4 different autosomal dominant syndromes namely May-Hegglin anomaly, Epstein syndrome, Fechtner syndrome and Sebastian platelet syndrome. All 4 syndromes are characterized by macrothrombocytopenia and a mild bleeding tendency. Depending on the position of the causative mutation within the gene, the risk increases for syndromic manifestations such as renal failure, hearing loss and pre-senile cataract. Mutations in the neck region of the NMMHCIIA protein are more likely associated with these comorbidities than mutations in the N- or C-terminal part of the gene. MYH9 related platelet disorders should be excluded in patients with chronic thrombocytopenia and large platelets. Most sensitive for diagnosis/exclusion are immunofluorescence studies using a blood smear. The biggest risk for these patients is ineffective but potentially harmful treatment based on the misdiagnosis of immune thrombocytopenia. This review provides a workflow for diagnosis and treatment of MYH9 related thrombocytopenia.
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