What Is Relative Polycythemia?

In some forms of secondary polycythemia, the hemoglobin or red blood cell count is perceived to be abnormally high due to an increased concentration of blood.

This can happen as a result of plasma volume loss from dehydration, severe vomiting or diarrhea, or excessive sweating. Polycythemia in these situations may be called relative polycythemia, because the actual numbers of red blood cells are not abnormal.

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