Review of Hyperviscosity Syndrome

The Bottom Line: The most common manifestation of hyperviscosity syndrome is bleeding, generally skin and mucosal. However, blurred vision, headache, vertigo, dizziness, nystagmus, deafness, and ataxia also occur. Those with severe hyperviscosity syndrome may have confusion, dementia, stroke, or coma. Other, less common signs are heart failure and other cardiovascular.

Stone, Marvin. Evidence-based focused review of management of hyperviscosity syndrome. Blood 2012 vol:119 iss:10 pg:2205 -2208

Viscosity is measured in one of 2 ways; by determining the rate of fluid flow as a result of applying a predefined force or by measuring the amount of force required to achieve a predefined rate of fluid flow. Although hyperviscous blood is the cause of hyperviscosity syndrome, laboratories generally only measure the serum or plasma component. Serum and plasma display Newtonian properties in that viscosity is independent of pressure drop or velocity gradient.

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Dynamed: Hyperviscosity syndrome

Click on “Causes & Risk Factors” for entire entry

Causes:
-elevated immunoglobulin (M proteins)
-Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia
-Multiple myeloma
-leukostasis
-Chronic myeloid leukemia
-other causes of high white blood cell counts
-hyperfibrinogenemia
-polycythemia
-chronic myeloproliferative disorders
-Polycythemia vera
-essential thrombocythemia (ET)
-myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia (MMM)

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