Fast Five Quiz: Myelodysplastic Syndrome Pathology

Emmanuel C. Besa, MD

Disclosures

May 12, 2021

Figure 1. Auer rod, light micrograph (Wright-Giemsa, original magnification x100). Auer rods are clumps of azurophilic granular material that form elongated needles (here, the small red material over the nucleus) seen in the cytoplasm of myeloid leukemic blast.

In MDS, cytogenetic patterns are not stable, and a significant proportion of patients acquire additional cytogenetic patterns throughout the disease course. This trend is associated with increased risk for transformation to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and worse survival.

The presence of a specific cytopenia (eg, anemia) does not necessarily correlate with the degree or type of dysplasia seen in the bone marrow and peripheral blood. Indeed, the World Health Organization Classification of Tumors of Hematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues renamed refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia to MDS-MLD in 2016 in part because of this fact.

In contrast with other forms of MDS, there is no sex predominance in MDS-SLD. In addition, MDS with isolated del(5q) is more common in women.

The natural history of patients with lower-risk MDS is heterogeneous.

Learn more about MDS.

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