Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) encompass a heterogeneous group of clonal hematopoietic stem cell disorders characterized by a broad clinical spectrum related to ineffective hematopoiesis leading to unilineage or multilineage cytopenias, with a high propensity for transformation to acute myeloid leukemia. Iron overload has been recently identified as one of the important conditions complicating the management of these diverse disorders. The accumulation of iron is mainly related to chronic transfusions; however, evidence suggests a possible role for ineffective erythropoiesis and increased intestinal absorption of iron, related to altered hepcidin and growth differentiation factor-15 levels in the development of hemosiderosis in patients with MDS. In addition to its suggested role in the exacerbation of ineffective erythropoiesis, multiple reports have identified a prognostic implication for the development of iron overload in patients with MDS, with an improvement in overall survival after the initiation of iron chelation therapy. This review includes a detailed discussion of iron overload in patients with MDS whether they are undergoing supportive therapy or curative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, with a focus on the mechanism, diagnosis, and effect on survival as well as the optimal management of this highly variable complication. Cancer 2018.