Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Haematologic syndromes result in the ineffective production of myeloid blood cells.

Myeloid stem cells are those that give rise to:bone_marrow-blood-cells

  1. leukocytes
  2. red blood cells (function in gas exchange, oxygen transport)
  3. thrombocyte or platelets (essential for blood clotting )


Leukocytes that arise from myeloid stem cells (cells of the immune system) :

  1. macrophages (phagocytize, engulf pathogens)
  2. basophils (stimulate the inflammatory response)
  3. neutrophils (phagocytize, engulf pathogens)
  4. eosinophils (stimulate the body’s allergy response and target parasites)

The above myeloid cells function as part of the body’s immune system in defense against foreign pathogens, function in blood coagulation and oxygen transport.

Myelodysplastice syndromes may result in

  • anemia
  • predispose an individual to acute myeloid leukemia
  • impair the body’s immune response increasing an individual’s risk of succumbing to infection
  • predispose an individual to haemorhage risk as platlet action in the role of blood clotting may be compromised

Myelodysplastic syndromes are bone marrow stem cell disorders resulting in disorderly and ineffective haematopoiesis (blood cell formation).


Myelodysplastic syndromes are progressive and chronic.


  • complete blood cell count – determines numbers of leukocytes (white blood cells), erythrocytes (red blood cells) and platlets
  • bone marrow biopsy to examine the source of haematopoiesis (blood cell production)


  • control symptoms, improve quality of life, improve overall survival, and decrease progression to acute myeloid leukemia
  • blood transfusions to improve red and white blood cell counts and platelet counts
  • hormone and drug therapies to increase blood cell production
  • bone marrow transplants
 Buresh, Andrew, Fuchs, Heaton, Ruth, Deborah, Knight, Robert, Kurtin, Sandy, List, Alan, Mahadevan, Daruka, Rimsza, Lisa, Roe, Denise J, and Zeldis, Jerome B. 2005. Efficacy of Lenalidomide in Myelodysplastic Syndromes. New England Journal of Medicine. 352:549-557.

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