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What does it mean to have high haemoglobin?

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Pathologist and Microbiologist
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 849 Questions
Question
My Mom is 82 years old and seems to be in great health, she recently had routine blood work done and her hemoglobin was high, the same test was done again and the hemoglobin was still high. Her family doctor is sending her to a hematologist, and cancer doctor. What does it mean to have high hemoglobin?
Posted Fri, 8 Aug 2014 in Blood Disorders
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jyothi B L 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
it could be polycythemia vera.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
I am Dr. Jyothi BL and I will be answering your query.
High hemoglobin means polycythemia. The levels would be above 18g%. It can be physiological or pathological.
Your doctor might be suspecting polycythemia vera, a myeloproliferative disorder.
Patients with lung disorders, staying in hilly regions and smokers can also have polycythemia.

Other investigations necessary are enlarged spleen, WBC and platelet count (which can be increased), vitamin b12 levels and cytogenetic studies are essential.

Any further details, happy to help again.

Dr. Jyothi BL.
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