Isolated 20q deletion is common in MDS and considered of good prognosis, but no large series have been reported. We compared characteristics of 62 MDS patients with isolated del 20q, 36 patients with del 20q and other cytogenetic abnormalities, and 1335 MDS patients without del20q. Significant differences between MDS with isolated del 20q and patients without del 20q were lower platelet count (mean 144 vs. 196 G/l, p=0.005), lower marrow blast count (mean 3.9% vs. 5.6%, p=0.0008), and higher reticulocyte count (mean 72.5 vs. 51.7 G/l, p=0.04). Ten (16%) patients with isolated del 20q had Hb>12g/dl and platelets <100 G/l, compared to 7.3% of patients without del 20q (p=0.025). Review of marrow slides of those 10 patients showed that could be readily identified as MDS prior to cytogenetics. Fourteen percent of patients with isolated del 20q progressed to AML compared to 11% with one and 24% with several additional abnormalities. Median survival was 54 months in patients with isolated del 20q, not reached and 12 months for del 20q with one and several additional abnormalities, respectively (p=0.035) confirming the favorable prognosis of del 20q without complex abnormalities.