Myelodysplastic Syndromes

  • Nages Nagaratnam
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
  • Gary Cheuk
Reference work entry


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.


Myelodysplastic syndromes Clonal haemopoietic stem cell disorders Unexplained anaemias Refractory anaemia 


  1. 1.
    Manoharan A, Brighton T, Gemmell R, Lopez K, Moran S, Kyle P, et al. Platelet dysfunction in myelodysplastic syndromes: a clinicopathological study. Int J Haematol. 2002;76:272–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zhou J, Orazi A, Czader MB. Myelodysplastic syndromes. Semin Diagn Pathol. 2011;28(4):258–72.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rollison DE, Howlader N, Smith MT, Strom SS, Merritt WD, Ries LA, et al. Epidemiology of myelodysplastic syndromes and chronic myeloproliferative disorders in the United States 2001–2004, using data from the NAACCR and SEER programs. Blood. 2008;112:45–52.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Guralnik JM, Eisenstaedt RS, Ferrucci L, Klein HG, Woodman RC. Prevalence of anaemias in persons 65 years and older in the United States: evidence for a high rate of unexplained anaemia. Blood. 2004;104:2263–2268.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Saba HI. Myelodysplastic syndromes in the elderly: role of growth factors in management. Leuk Res. 1996;20(3):203–19.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ria R, Moschetta A, Reale A, Mangialardi G, Catrovilli A, Vaca A, et al. Managing myelodysplastic symptoms in elderly patients. Clin Interv Aging. 2009;4:413–423. 2002.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Stone RM. How I treat patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Blood. 2009;113:6296–6303.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bennett I, Catovsky D, Daniel MT. Proposals for the classification of myelodysplastic syndromes. Br J Haemat. 1982;51:189–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Vardimann IW, Harris NI, Brunning RV. The World Health Organisation (WHO) classification of myeloid neoplasms. Blood. 2002;100:2292–2303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bain B. The WHO classification of myelodysplastic syndromes. Exp Oncol. 2004;26(3): 166–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Greenberg P, Cox C, LeBeau MM, Fenaux P, Morel P, Sanz G, et al. International Scoring System for evaluating the prognosis in myelodysplastic syndromes. Blood. 1997;89:2079–2088.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Malcovati I, Germing U, Kuendgen R, Della Prta MG, Pascutto C, Invernizzi R, et al. Time-dependent prognostic scoring system for predicting survival and leukemic evolution in myelodysplastic syndromes. J Clin Oncol. 2007;25:3947–3510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cazzola M, Della Porta MG, Travaglino E, Malcovati L. Classification and prognostic evaluation of myelodysplastic syndromes. Semin Oncol. 2011;38:627–34.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Manoharan A, Reynolds J, Matthews J, Baxter H, Di Lulio J, Leahy M, et al. Flexible low-intensity combination chemotherapy for elderly patients with acute myeloid leukaemia. A Multicentre, Phase Study. Drugs Aging. 2007;24(6):481–488.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nages Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Gary Cheuk
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of SydneyWestmead Clinical SchoolWestmeadAustralia
  2. 2.Rehabilitation and Aged Care ServiceBlacktown-Mt Druitt HospitalMount DruittAustralia

Personalised recommendations