Anemia leading to transfusion dependency (TD) and iron overload (IO) is commonly observed in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). In MDS, TD and IO have been retrospectively associated with inferior survival and worse clinical outcomes, including cardiac, hepatic and endocrine dysfunction, and, in some analyses, with leukemic progression and infectious complications. Although suggested by retrospective analyses, clear prospective documentation of the beneficial effects of iron chelation therapy (ICT) on organ function and survival in MDS patients with TD and IO is currently lacking. Consequently, the role of ICT in MDS patients with TD and IO remains a very controversial aspect in the management of MDS. In this review, the authors summarize the current knowledge regarding IO in MDS and the role of ICT.