Fast Five Quiz: Myelodysplastic Syndrome Pathology

Emmanuel C. Besa, MD


May 12, 2021

MDS-EB, previously called refractory anemia with excess blasts, is an MDS entity characterized by increased myeloblasts in the bone marrow and/or blood or the presence of Auer rods. Irrespective of blast count, the presence of Auer rods is associated with a poor survival and a high risk of transformation to AML. Their presence also excludes a diagnosis of MDS-MLD.

The presence of either 5%-9% blasts in the bone marrow (with < 5% blasts in the blood and absence of Auer rods) or 2%-4% blasts in the blood (with < 10% blasts in the bone marrow and absence of Auer rods) classifies as MDS-EB1. The presence of 10%-19% blasts in the bone marrow, 5%-19% blasts in the blood, or the presence of Auer rods classifies as MDS-EB2.

Learn more about MDS with excess blasts.


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