International Journal of Hematology

, Volume 73, Issue 4, pp 429–437 | Cite as

Chromosome and Molecular Abnormalities in Myelodysplastic Syndromes

  • Pierre Fenaux
Progress in hematology


Cytogenetic abnormalities are seen in approximately 50% of cases of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and 80% of cases of secondary MDS (following chemotherapy or radiotherapy). These abnormalities generally consist of partial or complete chromosome deletion or addition (del5q, -7, +8, -Y, del20q), whereas balanced or unbalanced translocations are rarely found in MDS. Fluorescence hybridization techniques (fluorescence in situ hybridization [FISH], multiplex FISH, and spectral karyotyping) are useful in detecting chromosomal anomalies in cases in which few mitoses are obtained or rearrangements are complex. Ras mutations are the molecular abnormalities most frequently found in MDS, followed by p15 gene hypermethylation, FLT3 duplications, and p53 mutations, but none of these abnormalities are specific for MDS. The rare cases of balanced translocations in MDS have allowed the identification of genes whose rearrangements appear to play a role in the pathogenesis of some cases of MDS. These genes include MDS1-EVI1 in t(3;3) or t(3;21) translocations, TEL in t(5;12), HIP1 in t(5;7), MLF1 in t(3;5), and MEL1 in t(1;3). Genes more frequently implicated in the pathogenesis of MDS cases, such as those involving del5q, remain unknown, although some candidate genes are currently being studied. Cytogenetic and known molecular abnormalities generally carry a poor prognosis in MDS and can be incorporated into prognostic scoring systems such as the International Prognostic Scoring System.

Key words

Myelodysplastic syndromes Chromosomes Gene rearrangements 


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Hematology 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CHU de LilleFrance

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