Patients with Essential Thrombocythemia (ET) can be categorized as either JAK2 V617F mutated (V617F+) or wild type (V617F). Mutated patients display multiple features resembling Polycythemia Vera (PV), with significantly higher hemoglobin level and neutrophil counts, lower platelet count, more pronounced bone marrow erythropoiesis and granulopoiesis and higher tendency to transform in PV. Presence of the mutation and/or allele burden has been variably associated with the rate of vascular complications in ET and PV, but a direct comparison between the two disorders under this respect has not been performed. To tackle this issue, we compared the rate of major thrombosis in 867 ET patients (57% were JAK2 V617F+) with that in 415 PV patients (all V617F+). The median follow-up was 4.9 (0 – 39) and 3.8 (0 – 26) years in ET and PV, respectively. High risk ET patients (age ≥ 60 years and/or previous thrombosis) received Hydroxyurea whereas the vast majority of low-risk remained untreated. PV patients were treated according to the current risk-stratified recommendations. Thrombotic episodes were recorded over time and calculated as rates % per patient/year (pt/yr). After adjusting for age, the thrombosis-free survival curves of JAK2 V617F+ and V617F ET patients were superimposable until 10 years after the diagnosis, then they diverged so that the actuarial probability of major thrombosis in mutated ET patients reached that of PV (48% vs 55%, test for trend p=0.05). We found that JAK2 V617F+ allele burden measured by real-time quantitative PCR influenced these rates in a comparable way in both ET and PV. Actually, in JAK2 wild type ET (n=376, 43%) the rate was 1.4% pt/yr. In ET patients with JAK2 V617F+ allele burden ranging from 1 to 25% (N=190; 49%) the rate was 1.9 % pt/yr compared to 1.2 in PV patients (N=64, 19%); in the group with 26–50% the rate was 2.0 % pt/yr in ET (N=177; 45%) and 3.0 in PV patients (N=118, 36%); in cases of V617F+ allele burden greater than 50% the rate was 3.8 % pt/yr in ET (N=23; 6%) and 2.9 in PV patients (N=147, 45%). In conclusion, from this retrospective analysis, we conclude that in patients with ET harboring JAK2 V617F mutation the rate of stroke, myocardial infarction and venous thromboembolic complications is similar to that of PV patients and increases in dependence of V617F allele burden, supporting the hypothesis that ET and PV may be viewed as a continuum also in terms of vascular complications

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