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Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 1994 Dec;78(2):219-31.

Hematologic, clinical, and cytogenetic analysis in 109 patients with primary myelodysplastic syndrome. Prognostic significance of morphology and chromosome findings.

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Division de Génétique Médicale, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vauodis, Lausanne, Switzerland.


One hundred and nine patients with primary myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) were classified according to the French-American-British (FAB) criteria: 27 refractory anemia (RA, 25%), 26 RA with ringed sideroblasts (RARS, 24%), 16 RA with excess of blasts (RAEB, 15%), 10 RAEB in transformation (RAEB-t, 9%), 25 chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMMoL, 23%), and five unclassifiable MDS (4%). Forty-three were women and 66 were men (sex ratio 2:3). Age ranged from 30-92 years (mean 69 years) with nine patients aged less than 50 years (8%). A cytogenetic result was obtained in all cases. At initial study, a chromosome defect was observed in 56% of patients. Rates of abnormality depended on FAB subtype: 52% in RA, 100% in RA 5q-, 50% in RARS, 56% in RAEB, 70% in RAEB-t and 44% in CMMoL. The most frequent single defects were del(5q), -7/del(7q), del(20q), Y loss, and +8. Except for the 5q- syndrome entity, specific chromosome defects were not associated with particular FAB subtypes. Bone marrow (BM) insufficiency (22%) and leukemic transformation (21%) were the most important causes of death. The rate of leukemic transformation increased with the number of dysplastic BM cell lineages and was also associated with karyotype complexity and the proportion of abnormal/normal metaphases. The longest median survivals were observed in RARS (142 months) and RA/RA5q- (91 months) types. Median survivals decreased with increasing Bournemouth score values. Patients with three abnormal cell lineages had a median survival shorter than those with one or two abnormal lineages. Similarly, patients with complex defects had shorter survival than those with single or double defects or a normal karyotype. There was no statistically significant difference between survival of NN (normal), AN (abnormal/normal), and AA patients or between survival of patients with del(5q), -7/del(7q), +8 or del(20q).

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