What are the physical findings characteristic of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH)?

Updated: May 20, 2021
  • Author: Emmanuel C Besa, MD; Chief Editor: Sara J Grethlein, MD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Most commonly, in patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), pallor suggests anemia; fever suggests infections; and bleeding, such as mucosal bleeding or skin ecchymoses, suggests thrombocytopenia similar to that in aplastic anemia. Other physical examination findings may include the following:

  • Hepatomegaly and ascites in the presence of Budd-Chiari syndrome
  • Splenomegaly in the presence of splenic vein thrombosis
  • Absent bowel sounds in the presence of bowel necrosis
  • Papilledema in the presence of cerebral vein thrombosis
  • Skin nodules that are red and painful in the presence of dermal vein thrombosis

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