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Zhonghua Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi. 2001 Jul;22(7):351-4.

[Study on the transformation from myelodysplastic syndromes into acute leukemias].

[Article in Chinese]

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Institute of Hematology and Blood Disease Hospital, CAMS and PUMC, Tianjin 300020, China.



To study the patterns of transformation from myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) into acute leukemias (AL).


Leukemic transformation of MDS patients was dynamically followed up and the clinical manifestations, peripheral blood and bone marrow pictures, karyotypes, immunophenotypes, response to treatment and prognosis of post MDS acute leukemia (postMDS-AL) were observed.


During the past eight year and seven months, 21 (13.91%) of 151 MDS patients progressed to overt leukemia with a median interval of 5 (1 - 21) months. There were no significant differences among the rates of leukemia from RA, RAEB and RAEB-t groups. The transformation was developed either gradually or rapidly. There were five parameters related to the leukemic transformation: under 40 years of age, pancytopenia, more than 0.15 blasts in bone marrow, at least two types of abnormal karyotype and combined chemotherapy. All of the 21 post MDS-AL were acute myeloid leukemia (AML); and most of them were M(2), M(4) and M(5). Two (9.52%) post MDS-AML developed extramedullary infiltration. Leukopenia was found in 47.62% of patients. Two third of the patients, whose bone marrows were generally hypercellular, showed neutropenias. After evolving into AML, 8 (47.06%) patients developed abnormal karyotypes. High expression of immature myeloid antigens, including CD(33) (49.83 +/- 24.50)%, CD(13) (36.38 +/- 33.84)%, monocytic antigen CD(14) (38.50 +/- 24.60)%, and stem cell marker CD(34) (34.67 +/- 30.59)% were found on bone marrow mononuclear cells of post MDS-AML cases. In some cases, lymphoid antigens, such as CD(5), CD(7), CD(9) and CD(19) were coexisted with myeloid antigens. A low complete remission rate (31.25%) and short survival duration with median survival of 6 (1 - 28) months were found in patients with post MDS-AML treated by induction therapy.


MDS was at high risk of evolving into AML, either gradually or rapidly. Patients with post MDS-AML had specific biologic features and worse prognoses.

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