Standards and Impact of Hematopathology in Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)
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Received: October 31, 2010, Accepted: November 15, 2010, Published: November 16, 2010The diagnosis, classification, and prognostication of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are usually based on clinical parameters, analysis of peripheral blood and bone marrow smears, and cytogenetic determinants. However, a thorough histologic and immunohistochemical examination of the bone marrow is often required for a final diagnosis and exact classification in these patients. Notably, histology and immunohistology may reveal dysplasia in megakaryocytes or other bone marrow lineages and/or the presence of clusters of CD34-positive precursor cells. In other cases, histology may reveal an unrelated or co-existing hematopoietic neoplasm, or may support the conclusion the patient is suffering from acute myeloid leukemia rather than MDS. Moreover, histologic investigations and immunohistology may reveal an increase in tryptase-positive cells, a coexisting systemic mastocytosis, or bone marrow fibrosis, which is of prognostic significance. To discuss diagnostic algorithms, terminologies, parameters, and specific issues in the hematopathologic evaluation of MDS, a Working Conference involving a consortium of US and EU experts, was organized in June 2010. The outcomes of the conference and resulting recommendations provided by the faculty, are reported in this article. These guidelines should assist in the diagnosis, classification, and prognostication in MDS in daily practice as well as in clinical trials.
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