Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs) | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of myeloproliferative neoplasms?

Many people with MPNs do not have any symptoms; however, a routine blood test may confirm high levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. Each type of MPN may cause varying symptoms. More common symptoms include:

  • headaches
  • fatigue and tiredness
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • night sweats
  • itching
  • raised blood pressure

Other symptoms are specific to the type of MPN.

What causes MPNs?

Although seen across all age groups, MPNs are more often seen in adults. A genetic mutation in a protein that regulates blood cell production — JAK2 — is found in a large number of people with MPNs, while a smaller number have other mutations in other genes, such as MPL or CALR.  Nevertheless, the common denominator is that all these mutations activate the JAK2 pathway.