A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of thrombosis and bleeding at diagnosis of Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms

BMC Cancer. 2019 Feb 28;19(1):184. doi: 10.1186/s12885-019-5387-9.


Background: Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are a heterogeneous group of hematopoietic stem cell clonal diseases. Most patients with MPN are asymptomatic at diagnosis although some of them suffer from constitutional symptoms. Thrombosis and bleeding can also be one of the initial manifestations although the reported prevalence varied considerably across the studies. This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted with the aims to better understand the prevalence and characteristics of thrombosis and bleeding among patients with newly-diagnosed MPN.

Methods: Using a search strategy that included the terms for myeloproliferative neoplasms, thrombosis, and bleeding, two investigators independently searched for published articles indexed in the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases from inception to August 2018. The pooled prevalence was calculated using the DerSimonian-Laird random-effects model with a double arcsine transformation.

Results: A total of 29 cohort studies (8 prospective and 21 retrospective) with 13,436 patients with MPN were included into this meta-analysis. At diagnosis, the pooled prevalence of overall thrombosis among patients with MPN was 20.0% (95% CI, 16.6-23.8%; I2 96%), with the pooled prevalence of arterial thrombosis of 16.2% (95% CI, 13.0-20.0%; I2 95%) and the pooled prevalence of venous thrombosis of 6.2% (95% CI, 4.9-7.8%; I2 89%). Common thrombotic events included cerebrovascular disease/transient ischemic attack, coronary heart disease, and deep venous thrombosis. The pooled prevalence of hemorrhagic complications among patients who were newly diagnosed with MPN patients was 6.2% (95% CI, 5.0-7.8%; I2 85%). Common sites of bleeding included gastrointestinal, mucosal, and cutaneous bleeding.

Conclusions: Thrombosis and bleeding are common initial manifestations of MPN. Investigations for MPN should be considered for patients who present with unexplained thrombosis or abnormal bleeding.

Keywords: Bleeding; Essential thrombocythemia; Hemorrhage; Myeloproliferative neoplasms; Polycythemia vera; Prevalence; Primary myelofibrosis; Thrombosis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Hemorrhage / epidemiology*
  • Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / complications*
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / diagnosis
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / genetics
  • Philadelphia Chromosome
  • Prevalence
  • Thrombosis / diagnosis
  • Thrombosis / epidemiology*
  • Thrombosis / etiology*