Hemasphere. 2021 Jan 27;5(2):e521. doi: 10.1097/HS9.0000000000000521. eCollection 2021 Feb.
Essential thrombocythemia (ET) is a chronic myeloproliferative neoplasm characterized by a persistently elevated platelet count in the absence of a secondary cause. The clinical consequences of uncontrolled thrombocytosis can include both thrombosis and hemorrhage. Patients with features conferring a "high risk" of vascular events benefit from reduction of the platelet count through cytoreductive therapy. The management of patients who lack such high-risk features has until recently been less well defined, but it is now apparent that many require minimal or even no intervention. In this review, we discuss the diagnostic pathway for younger patients with unexplained thrombocytosis, including screening molecular investigations, the role of bone marrow biopsy, and investigations in those patients negative for the classic myeloproliferative neoplasm driver mutations (JAK2, CALR, MPL). We discuss conventional and novel risk stratification methods in essential thrombocythemia and how these can be best applied in clinical practice, particularly in the era of more comprehensive genomic testing. The treatment approach for "low risk" patients is discussed including antiplatelets and the options for cytoreductive therapy, if indicated, together with areas of clinical need for future study.