Erythremia or chronic erythromyelosis is characterized with abnormal increasing of red blood cells-a type of chronic hyperplasia of bone marrow which we called zhen hong (true red). Those middle and old aged males are often more prone to this disease. The clinical signs are peculiar plethoric redness of skin and mucosa, especially neck, cheek, lip, ear, nose and the most at distal part of limbs, hyperemic of eye conjunctiva, resembles the face of a drunken person. The other symptoms are such as headache, heaviness in the head, noise in ears, weakness and numbness of limbs; severe patients may even have impaired vision, narrowing of vision field, double vision, skin itching, about 1/3 even develop thromboses causing thrombosis of peripheral, brain and coronary arteries, often caused duodenal ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis and etc.
The etiology of this disease is still unknown clearly, considering the increasing of red blood cells is due to erythrocytosis (increased production of red blood cells or erythrocytes) and is not due to prolongation of life span of red blood cells. The researches shown that the increasing of red blood cells is related to the abnormality of hemopoeitic stem cells.
The diagnose is mainly based on clinical symptoms and blood analysis. The blood volume may increases to 120-240ml/kg (in norm 65-90ml/kg), hematocrit >50%, slow erythrocyte sedimentation rate, hemoglobin maybe more than 18-24g/dm, often accompanied by increasing of white blood cells, erythrocyte network normal or increased, neutrophils and alkaline phosphotase increased. The regenerative activity of bone marrow is obviously marked hyperactive and the ratio between neutrophils and young erythrocytes is decreased. Besides, there are positive result of iron dye and decreased iron storage in bone marrow.
The modern medical treatment mainly uses phlebotomy, new cytostatics (marcofan and myelosan) and radioactive phosphorus (32P) and etc.
In Chinese medicine studies, this disease belongs to stoppage of warm liver blood concretely, excessive of Qi (energy) and gradually increasing warmth of blood, with main signs such as liver Yang (stronger of liver function), liver Huo (hot, accumulation of heat), stoppage of Qi (energy) and increased of blood viscosity. During the treatment, it must be directed to clear the excessive Qi and cooling down the blood, clearance of stoppage, improves the blood circulation, clear Huo and Du (poison), helps to let out liver Huo, adjust liver Yang and etc.
Clinical treatment results
There were 25 cases adopted the pure Chinese medical therapy; completely recovered (symptoms totally disappeared, erythrocytes and colour index became normal) were 23 cases and 2 cases turned out better (erythrocytes, hemoglobin, leukocytes were decreased but not yet to the normal level).