Recent advances in the understanding and management of MYH9-related inherited thrombocytopenias

Carlo L. Balduini, Alessandro Pecci, Anna Savoia

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MYH9-related disease (MYH9-RD) is one of the most frequent forms of inherited thrombocytopenia. It is transmitted in an autosomal dominant fashion and derives from mutations of MYH9, the gene for the heavy chain of non-muscle myosin IIA. Patients present with congenital macrothrombocytopenia with mild bleeding tendency and may develop kidney dysfunction, deafness and cataracts later in life. The term MYH9-RD encompasses four autosomal-dominant thrombocytopenias that were previously described as distinct disorders, namely May-Hegglin Anomaly, Sebastian, Fechtner and Epstein syndromes. Thrombocytopenia is usually mild and derives from complex defects of megakaryocyte maturation and platelet formation. It is easily diagnosed, in that the presence of giant platelets in peripheral blood raises the suspicion of MYH9-RD and a simple immunofluorescence test on blood films confirms the diagnostic hypothesis. However, genotype/phenotype correlations have been recognized and mutation screening is therefore required to define the risk of acquiring extra-haematological defects. Results of a small clinical study suggested that a non-peptide thrombopoietin mimetic might greatly benefit both thrombocytopenia and bleeding tendency of MYH9-RD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-174
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Bleeding disorders
  • Genetic diseases
  • Inherited thrombocytopenias
  • MYH9
  • Platelets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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