What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of essential thrombocythaemia (ET)

In ET, the body produces excess platelets and white blood cells in the blood. Platelets normally travel around the blood vessels and stick together to prevent excess bleeding when you injure or cut yourself. In ET, the additional platelets may lead to an increase in blood clots (cells clumping together). However, these additional platelets sometimes do not behave like normal platelets and can actually increase the risk of bleeding. High white blood cell counts have also been associated with high risk of clotting (thrombosis).

Want to know more about how your symptoms are affecting you? Use the MPN10 tool to help you assess your symptoms and explain to your doctor how you are feeling. View MPN10 »

The list of ET symptoms below should give you a feel for the more common symptom characteristics of ET – but it doesn’t include every possible symptom. Work through this list and consider what symptoms relate to you. Remember, many people who have ET do not feel any symptoms at all and you may not be experiencing any symptoms at this point, especially if you have been recently diagnosed.

  • Symptoms of anaemia (low red blood count)
  • - Fatigue and weakness
  • - Inactivity (associated with fatigue)
  • Symptoms associated with an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly):
  • - Abdominal pain and discomfort, on the left side below the ribs
  • - Early satiety (feeling of fullness)
  • - Weight loss (associated with loss of appetite)
  • Other symptoms:
  • - pain and discomfort in the abdomen or stomach
  • - Skin itchiness (also called pruritus)
  • - Concentration problems
  • - Excessive sweating, especially at night
  • - Fever
  • - Bone pain

See the treatment options for ET »     

For Essential Thrombocythaemia and Polycythaemia Vera
the most common signs and symptoms that we look out for during the
course of the disease are those of thrombosis or haemorrhage.

– Professor Claire Harrison