Prevalence of the activating JAK2 tyrosine kinase mutation V617F in the Budd-Chiari syndrome

Raj K Patel, Nicholas C Lea, Michael A Heneghan, Nigel B Westwood, Dragana Milojkovic, Murugaiyan Thanigaikumar, Deborah Yallop, Roopen Arya, Antonio Pagliuca, Joop Gäken, Julia Wendon, Nigel D Heaton, Ghulam J Mufti
Gastroenterology 2006, 130 (7): 2031-8

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Budd-Chiari Syndrome (BCS) results from obstruction to hepatic venous outflow, with myeloproliferative disorder (MPD) accounting for up to 40% of cases. A number of BCS cases labelled as "idiopathic" do not fulfill the diagnostic criteria for MPD but have features suggestive of a latent form based on hyperplastic bone marrow and erythroid progenitor cell culture; these cases may subsequently develop overt MPD. A clonal mutation in JAK2 tyrosine kinase (JAK2V617F) occurs in a high proportion of patients with MPD and is of use in the characterization of latent MPD in BCS.

METHODS: We performed allele-specific polymerase chain reaction to screen for JAK2V617F in subjects with BCS (n = 41) and polycythemia vera (PV) (n = 20) and in hematologically normal controls (n = 27).

RESULTS: AK2V617F was detected in 24 of 41 (58.5%) subjects with BCS, 19 of 20 PV controls, and 0 of 27 hematologically normal controls. Mean hemoglobin concentration and hematocrit were significantly higher in patients with JAK2V617F. Bone marrow was hyperplastic in 16 of 41 subjects (12/16 JAK2V617F positive). Nine of 33 (27.3%) showed endogenous erythroid colony formation (7/9 JAK2V617F positive). Eleven of 41 subjects developed overt MPD (8/11 essential thrombocythemia, 3/11 PV) after the diagnosis of BCS (median, 49 months; range, 8-87 months), and in 90.9% of these JAK2V617F was detected.

CONCLUSIONS: JAK2V617F occurs in a high proportion of patients with BCS. Latent MPD was missed in a substantial number of our subjects by using standard techniques. Such cases should be screened for JAK2V617F and carefully observed for the subsequent development of overt MPD.

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