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Myelodysplasias (MDS)

Refinement of the international prognostic scoring system (IPSS) by including LDH as an additional prognostic variable to improve risk assessment in patients with primary myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)


The international prognostic scoring system (IPSS) is considered the gold standard for risk assessment in primary myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). This score includes several prognostic factors except serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). We evaluated the prognostic power of LDH as an additional variable in IPSS-based risk assessment. For this purpose, a total of 892 patients with primary MDS registered by the Austrian–German cooperative MDS study group was analyzed retrospectively. Multivariate analysis confirmed the value of established parameters such as medullary blasts, karyotype and peripheral cell counts and showed that elevated LDH was associated with decreased overall survival (P<0.00005) and increased risk of AML development (P<0.00005), independent of the system used to classify MDS (FAB or WHO). Moreover, elevated LDH was found to be a significant predictor of poor survival within each IPSS risk group and within each FAB group except RAEB-T. To exploit these results for refined prognostication, each IPSS risk group was split into two separate categories (A=normal LDH vs B=elevated LDH). Using this LDH-assisted approach, it was possible to identify MDS patients with unfavorable prognosis within the low and intermediate IPSS risk groups. We propose that the IPSS+LDH score should improve clinical decision-making and facilitate proper risk stratification in clinical trials.

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The authors thank Gisele Rocco, Manuel Aivado, Julie Schanz, Jurij Pitako, Wolfgang R. Sperr, Friedrich Wimazal, and Helga Grüner for their assistance in data collection and karyotyping. This work was supported by Kompetenznetz ‘Akute und chronische Leukämien’, Bundesforschungsministerium (German Research Ministry). R.S. was supported by ‘Tiroler Verein zur Förderung der Krebsforschung an der Universitätsklinik Innsbruck’ und ‘Johannes und Hertha Tuba-Stiftung’, Innsbruck, Austria.

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Germing, U., Hildebrandt, B., Pfeilstöcker, M. et al. Refinement of the international prognostic scoring system (IPSS) by including LDH as an additional prognostic variable to improve risk assessment in patients with primary myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Leukemia 19, 2223–2231 (2005).

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  • MDS
  • IPSS
  • LDH
  • WHO-classification
  • FAB-classification

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