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Primary myelodysplasia occurring in adults under 50 years old: a clinicopathologic study of 52 patients

Abstract

Although myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) are generally thought to be diseases of elderly patients, younger patients also have rarely been diagnosed with MDS. This is a report of the clinical, morphologic and cytogenetic features of 52 cases of primary MDS occurring in adults under the age of 50 years. Cases secondary to chemotherapy or radiotherapy were excluded. There were 31 males and 21 females. The median age at presentation was 39 years (range, 18 to 49 years). The interval between onset of symptoms and diagnosis was brief (median, 4 weeks; range, 1–32 weeks). Of the 49 patients for whom information about duration of symptoms was available, 13 (27%) were asymptomatic. Forty-two (81%) of the patients were classified using FAB criteria for blood and bone marrow morphology: refractory anemia (RA), 11; refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts (RARS), four; refractory anemia with excess blasts (RAEB), 12; chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), three; refractory anemia with excess blasts in transformation (RAEB-T), 12 patients. Ten patients could not be categorized. Abnormalities involving chromosome 7 was the most frequent cytogenetic abnormality (31%). Partial chromosomal deletion and chromosome gain were also common abnormalities (22% and 9%, respectively). Translocations accounted for only 9% of the main cytogenetic abnormalities encountered in this patient population. For the 49 patients for whom information regarding AML transformation was available, 23 (47%) progressed to acute myeloid leukemia, with an overall median time to progression of 2 months (range 3 weeks to 3 years). In each category except for RARS, approximately half of the patients progressed, with a slightly less median time to progression in RAEB-T than for the other subtypes of MDS. Thirteen patients underwent bone marrow transplantation at the time of presentation of their disease.

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Chang, K., O'Donnell, M., Slovak, M. et al. Primary myelodysplasia occurring in adults under 50 years old: a clinicopathologic study of 52 patients. Leukemia 16, 623–631 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.leu.2402391

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Keywords

  • myelodysplastic syndromes
  • bone marrow transplantation
  • younger adults

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