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Ann Hematol. 2008 Jul;87(7):515-26. doi: 10.1007/s00277-008-0483-y. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

Cytogenetic features in myelodysplastic syndromes.

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Department of Hematology and Oncology, Georg-August-University, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37075, Göttingen, Germany.


Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) comprise a group of bone marrow diseases characterized by profound heterogeneity in morphologic presentation, clinical course, and cytogenetic features. Roughly 50% of patients display clonal chromosome abnormalities. In several multicentric studies, the karyotype turned out to be one of the most important prognostic parameters and was incorporated into statistical models aiming for a better prediction of the individual prognosis like the International Prognostic Scoring System. However, due to the profound cytogenetic heterogeneity, the impact of many rare abnormalities as well as combinations of anomalies occurring in a substantial portion of patients with MDS is still unknown and can only be delineated on the basis of large international multicentric cooperations. Recently, the German-Austrian MDS Study Group presented cytogenetic findings in 2,072 patients with MDS, which serve as a basis for the characterization of the cytogenetic subgroups discussed in this article. The availability of new therapeutic options for low- and high-risk MDS targeted against distinct entities characterized by specific chromosome abnormalities, like 5q-deletions, monosomy 7, and complex abnormalities underlines the important role of cytogenetics for the clinical management of MDS. This article thus focuses on the clinical and prognostic relevance, the molecular background, and therapeutic perspectives in these three cytogenetic subgroups.

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