Q. Is it possible to have low erythropoietin count and high RBC count together?

Answered by Dr. Girish C Kamat and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

 

New
Do you have a question on Erythropoiesis or High Rbc Count? We have medical experts to help you right away. Ask a Doctor Now »
 

Hello doctor,

I am 27 years old male, 6 feet, and 180 lbs. I started a new job and the life insurance company wanted me to take a blood test. The results are attached. My blood test shows a low erythropoietin of 4.4 U/L (normal range 4.3 to 29) and high red blood cell count of 5.6x10^12/L (normal range 3.7-6). The insurance company now wants me to see a hematologist for polycythemia. What are the odds that my result is actually related to that? I was also just diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea.


Related Questions:
Does a hematocrit of 49.2 indicate polycythemia?
Why is Aspirin given for high hemoglobin and RBC count?
What is your suggestion for polycythemia?
 

Dr. Girish C Kamat
MBBS., MD., DNB., MNAMS., PGDFM
Hematology, Internal Medicine

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Your hemogram and erythropoietin levels are normal. I would not evaluate you any further. They should not have asked for a hematology consultation, but if it is mandatory, get it done. 

All the best and do well in your new job.

For further queries consult a hematologist online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/hematologist

 

Hello doctor,

Thank you for getting back to me. The levels are within normal as you say, but what worries me is that they are on opposite ends of their limits. EPO low, and RBC high. Usually, high EPO produces red blood cells, but in my case, EPO is on the lower limit and my red blood cell count is close to the higher limit. Can you please elaborate on what can cause my red blood cells level to be so high if the EPO, that is controlling their production, is so low? I am just wondering as if my red blood cell drops, then my EPO could drop below the limit as well. Could it be related to my sleep apnea?

 

Dr. Girish C Kamat
MBBS., MD., DNB., MNAMS., PGDFM
Hematology, Internal Medicine

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • There are only two conditions where there is polycythemia with low erythropoietin level. They are:
  1. Polycythemia vera. This is a mild cancerous condition, diagnosis of which can be confirmed by testing for JAK2 gene mutation and bone marrow examination. In this condition, the platelet count and WBC counts are also generally high, and the spleen size is increased. 
  2. Congenital or familial polycythemia is a rare condition where there is a mutation in the erythropoietin receptor.
  • If your hemoglobin level were more than 16.5 g/dl, I would have asked you to do JAK2 mutation testing (V617F and exon 12). But, it is normal. Erythropoietin levels also, if it is outside the normal range, we need to worry about it.
  • Polycythemia can be due to sleep apnea, but in that case, erythropoietin level is high.
  • Please take it out of your head that your RBC count is high and EPO level is low. They are in the normal range.
  • You can do a hemogram six months later to ensure that the hemoglobin is in the normal range. If it is polycythemia, Hb level will increase by that time.

I hope you are convinced with the answer.

For more information consult a hematologist online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/hematologist

 
 
Ask your health query to a doctor online?
 
Ask a Doctor Online »
* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Related Questions & Answers


Why is Aspirin given for high hemoglobin and RBC count?
Query: Hi doctor, I am a 40 year old male. My hemoglobin was 18.3 g/dL, but it has come down to 17.7 g/dL since the last two months. My RBC count varies between 6.1 to 6.27 now, and PCV is 51.9 %. I am taking mini Aspirin as suggested by my doctor. Do I have any reason to worry?  Read Full »
Dr. Parth R Goswami
Family Physician, General Practitioner, Hematologist, Pathologist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. Your hemoglobin level, RBC (red blood cells), and PCV (packed cell volume) are high. The lymph node, liver, and spleen need to be clinically examined. Do you have a history of dizziness, weakness, and stroke? High level of RBC and hemoglobin can cause blood clots and ca...  Read Full »
 
What is your suggestion for polycythemia?
Query: Hi doctor, I am a 37 year old male. I am suffering from polycythemia for the last two years. My Hb is 19.17 and HCT is 51.9. The doctors informed me that it is all due to smoking. Is there any serious problem with me? What will you suggest? Thank you.  Read Full »
Dr. Parth R Goswami
Family Physician, General Practitioner, Hematologist, Pathologist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. Chronic smoking can lead to heart failure, chronic lung disease, etc., and hence, polycythemia occurs. It is called secondary polycythemia. With the treatment, the prognosis is good in secondary polycythemia. But, polycythemia can occur as primary polycythemia as well, an...  Read Full »
 
 

Ask your health query to a doctor online?
 
Ask a Doctor Online »
* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.
 

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours
 

Most Viewed


Is it possible to cure my respiratory allergy and throat infection with some medicine?
Hi doctor, I am suffering from nose block, throat pain, fever, occasional running nose, and headache. I am taking Nasaf ...Read more »
Can inhaling enamel paint residual fumes cause health issues?
Hello doctor, I (66 years, 145 lbs) am using a can of enamel paint in my basement. Total of 1 to 2 minutes. Had a mask ...Read more »
Arthritis in Its Many Forms
Arthritis is defined as the inflammation of a joint. There are various types of arthritis and despite their similarities ...Read more »