Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are clonal haemopoietic stem cell disorders in which the haemopoietic process is ineffective resulting in cytopenias, morphologic dysplasia and progression to acute myeloid leukaemia. MDS is primarily a disease of the elderly, and the mean age varies from about 60 to 75 years. The diagnosis should be considered in any patient with unexplained refractory anaemia and confirmed by hypercellular marrow with morphologically abnormal erythroblasts with or without the presence of ringed sideroblasts. The prognosis is highly variable and is dependent on the classification ranging from a few months to 15 years with a median survival of 3 years. Blood transfusion is the mainstay of treatment.
KeywordsMyelodysplastic syndromes Clonal haemopoietic stem cell disorders Unexplained anaemias Refractory anaemia