Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)

Your Path

  • Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)


  • Clonal stem cell disorder leading to ineffective hematopoeisis and cytopenias
  • Marrow is hypercellular, but cells made are abnormal and die prior to leaving
  • Can be primary problem or secondary to chemotherapy/other disorders that affect BM function

Risk Factors

  • Age > 60
  • Radiation exposure, prior chemotherapy
  • Benzene or toxin exposures


  • Asx until anemia→ fatigue, sob, doe, weakness/falls, other
  • Progresses over years
  • Low plt or low/abnormal WBC can cause bleeding, infection
  • Risk of transformation to AML

Physical Exam Findings

  • Sometimes tachycardia (anemia), fever (infection), other VS changes based on magnitude of illness
  • Someties mucosal bleeding, ecchymoses, petechiae if significant thrombocytopenia
  • Don't typically have adenopathy, splenomegaly, other organ enlargement