Background: Patients with polycythemia vera (PV) have an increased symptom burden (eg, fatigue, pruritus, and splenomegaly-related symptoms) and an increased risk of mortality compared with the general population, often resulting from thrombotic events, disease transformation to myelofibrosis, or secondary malignancies. There are limited data regarding PV burden and treatment patterns in a contemporary, real-world US setting. REVEAL is an ongoing observational study being conducted to describe contemporary demographics, burden of disease, clinical management, patient-reported outcomes, and healthcare resource utilization among patients with PV in the US. The objective of this assessment is to describe the clinical characteristics at enrollment among patients currently enrolled in REVEAL (enrollment from July 22, 2014 to June 9, 2015).

Methods: REVEAL is a multicenter, noninterventional, nonrandomized, prospective, observational study. Eligible patients are ≥18 years of age with a PV diagnosis and currently under active management by a physician in the US. Data regarding disease and clinical characteristics, patient-reported outcomes, and health resource utilization are being collected at usual-care visits over a planned 36-month observation period. Analyses of these preliminary data were descriptive.

Results: At data cutoff, 865 patients were enrolled (total planned enrollment, n=2000) from 174 sites (academic, n=27; community, n=147). Median (range) age at enrollment was 67 (22-95) years, 55.5% were male, 89.5% were white, and 45.4% had a history of smoking. Most patients (99.4%) had health insurance, including Medicare (56.0%), PPO (24.3%), or HMO (11.6%). Fifty-two percent were retired, 29.6% were employed, and 4.5% were unable to work or disabled. A total of 40.2% of patients completed a college/graduate degree, 19.9% had some college, and 32.5% completed high school or the equivalent.

Documented major World Health Organization diagnostic criteria included JAK2V617F mutation in 50.9% of patients, elevated hemoglobin in 52.3%, and red cell mass in 5.5%. A bone marrow biopsy was conducted in 24.0% of patients, approximately half of whom (52.4% of the 24.0%) had trilineage myeloproliferation. Erythropoietin levels were abnormal in 19.7% of patients. Approximately half (46.6%) of patients had physician-reported PV-related symptoms at diagnosis, most frequently fatigue (25.2%) and pruritus (14.0%).

At enrollment, median disease duration was 52.6 months; 42.3% of patients were diagnosed ≥5 years before enrollment. The most common comorbidities were hypertension (51.3%), obesity (14.2%), dyspnea (13.4%), myalgia (11.2%), and diabetes mellitus (11.1%). Mean hematocrit was 44.9%, hemoglobin was 14.5 g/dL, white blood cell count was 11.4×109/L, platelet count was 363.7×109/L, and absolute neutrophil count was 363.7×109/L. Twenty-one percent of patients had a history of thrombotic events, with 13.1% and 8.6% of patients experiencing ≥1 venous or arterial thromboembolic event, respectively. Of the 261 reported thrombotic events, 43.7% occurred after diagnosis of PV. The most common PV symptoms recorded at enrollment (using the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Symptom Assessment Form) were fatigue (37.1%), pruritus (24.0%), headache (18.6%), insomnia (17.0%), dizziness (13.2%), bone pain (10.5%), and blurred vision (7.9%); 19.7% of 518 evaluable patients had palpable splenomegaly. Fewer than half of patients were receiving aspirin at enrollment (47.7%). The most common PV treatments ± aspirin were phlebotomy (PBT; 63.5%), hydroxyurea (HU; 42.2%), watchful waiting (5.3%), and ruxolitinib (3.1%); 23.0% of patients received PBT + HU.

Conclusion: The REVEAL study is unique in that it captures data from both academic and community centers, and therefore includes a broader segment of the PV population typically not described in the literature. REVEAL can provide novel insights into questions related to the contemporary demographics of PV, practice patterns regarding diagnosis and therapy, and the real-world burden of PV and its impact on patients' quality of life and work productivity. Preliminary descriptive data from this early subset of patients suggest that a high proportion of patients report having PV-related symptoms at diagnosis, fewer patients are treated with aspirin than expected, and that thromboembolic event rates remain high after diagnosis.


Stein:Incyte Corporation: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Moliterno:Incyte Corporation: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Boccia:Incyte Corporation: Honoraria. Naim:Incyte Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Cordaro:Incyte Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Peng:Incyte Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Sun:Incyte Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Parasuraman:Incyte Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Mesa:Promedior: Research Funding; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation: Consultancy; NS Pharma: Research Funding; CTI Biopharma: Research Funding; Gilead: Research Funding; Pfizer: Research Funding; Incyte Corporation: Research Funding; Genentech: Research Funding.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.