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Morphologic Characteristics of Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Journal Title: 
Clinics in Laboratory Medicine
Primary Author: 
Yuen LD
Author(s): 
Yuen LD, Hasserjian RP
Original Publication Date: 
Sunday, December 31, 2023

Morphologic characterization remains a cornerstone in the diagnosis and classification of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) in the updated International Consensus Classification (ICC) and 5th edition World Health Organization Classification of Myeloid Neoplasms (Arber, Orazi, & Hasserjian, 2022; Khoury & Solary, 2022). The presence of dysplasia is one of the key diagnostic criteria required for establishing a diagnosis of MDS, and the percentage of myeloblasts in the blood and bone marrow impacts both disease classification and prognostication. Morphologic features also aid in distinguishing MDS from a myriad of other myeloid neoplasms and non-neoplastic mimics. Additional key morphologic features that should be recorded in any MDS case are the bone marrow cellularity and the degree of reticulin fibrosis. In this review, the morphologic assessment of the bone marrow biopsy, bone marrow aspirate, and peripheral blood smear as it pertains to the diagnosis and up-to-date classification of MDS will be described. The implications of the findings on classification and prognosis will also be discussed.

Bone Marrow Disease(s): 
  • myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)
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