Myelodysplasia or Myelodysplasia Syndrome: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Definition of myelodysplasia or myelodysplastic syndrome.

It is a term used for various diseases characterized by the ineffective production (or dysplasia) of a specific type of blood cell, which can be a warning that cancer may be developing in the body.

This condition usually refers to a condition that carries a high risk of becoming acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

However, it is essential to remember that myelodysplasia is a unique syndrome in which many people die from this condition without even developing leukemia. Only about one third of all patients with myelodysplastic syndromes evolve to AML in a few years.

All myelodysplastic syndromes involve the so-called “adult stem cells” found in the bone marrow and are usually responsible for maintaining the high arterial cell count.

The human body needs a certain amount of red blood cells to ensure that all organs receive enough oxygen and a certain amount of white blood cells to ensure that infections can be effectively treated.

As the disease progresses, the bone marrow decreases in its role even more, where the result is progressively worse than anemia due to the low blood cell count.


Leukemia refers to a cancer of white blood cells.

The white blood cells in the human body come in many different shapes and sizes, but in general, they have the same primordial function within the body: they are designed to be able to fight invasions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and debris.

If the myelodysplasia progresses to leukemia, the present anemia may persist, and several other problems will arise.

Leukemia is an overgrowth of dysfunctional white blood cells, so the body’s ability to fight infections can interfere with other body parts such as the spleen, liver, and lymph nodes, triggering pain in the abdomen and the joints.

Causes of Myelodysplasia

The causes of myelodysplasia tend to be similar to that of leukemia. Exposure to carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) such as radiation or benzene leads to mutating DNA and causing adult stem cells to stop working. In addition, secondary myelodysplasia may occur after cancer treatments.

Diagnosis of Myelodysplasia Syndrome

Myelodysplasia has a wide variety of symptoms, which must be differentiated from other forms of anemia and other diseases that result in low levels of blood cells. In general, inexplicably low cell counts and bone marrow degeneration are required to diagnose a disease such as myelodysplastic syndrome. This involves complete blood counts, chromosomal studies in the cells of the bone marrow, and ruling out diseases such as lupus, hepatitis, HIV, and vitamin deficiencies.

Treatment of Myelodysplasia Syndrome

The treatment of myelodysplasia usually focuses on increasing blood counts and controlling symptoms.

Blood transfusions and growth factors of blood cells are usually given to people with the disease.

Stem cell transplantation is often used in severely affected patients to replace adult stem cells in the malfunction of the bone marrow. Chemotherapy is sometimes used to slow the transition to leukemia.