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Paraplegia due to a paravertebral extramedullary haemopoiesis in a patient with polycythaemia vera
  1. Pier Paolo Piccaluga,
  2. Carlo Finelli,
  3. Ernesto Vigna,
  4. Claudio Agostinelli,
  5. Francesco Bacci,
  6. Stefania Padiai,
  7. Cristina Papayannidis,
  8. Claudio Laterza,
  9. Giovanni Martinelli,
  10. Stefano A Pileri,
  11. Michele Baccarani
  1. Institute of Haematology and Medical Oncology “L and A Seràgnoli”, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Pier Paolo Piccaluga
 Institute of Haematology and Medical Oncology “L and A Seràgnoli”, S Orsola Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, Via Massarenti, 9-40138 Bologna, Italy; ppicca{at}

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In July 1985, a 43-year-old man was found to have polycythaemia vera. The peripheral blood counts were white cell count 14.15×109/l (neutrophils 80%, lymphocytes 14%, monocytes 5%, eosinophils 1%), haemoglobin concentration 24.8 g/dl, haematocrit 0.7, red cell count 8.15×1012/l (neither anisocytosis nor poikilocytosis nor tear-drop poikilocytosis were observed), platelets 234×109/l. As only the erythroid lineage was affected significantly, he was treated with isovolaemic phlebotomy until April 2004. In May 2004, the patient suddenly developed a spastic paraplegia. Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging showed a posterior extradural tumour extending from T3 to T11 …

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  • Funding: This work was supported in part by COFIN 2002–2003 (MB), AIRC, AIL Bologna, Ateneo 60% (MB and SAP), and Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna grants. PPP was supported by Italian–American Cancer Foundation and AIRC (Leonino Fontana e Maria Lionello fellowship).

  • Competing interests: None declared.

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