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Myelodysplastic Syndrome Symptoms and Types



What is Myelodysplastic Syndrome?

It is closely related to the clonal hematopoietic disease condition. It was also formerly called pre-leukemia. It involves an ineffective production of the blood cells that are classified under the myeloid class.

It usually occurs when there is a problem with your bone marrow. The bone marrows are a spongy material that is located in the bones where the production of blood cells is formed. Usually, persons who are diagnosed with this type of syndrome will typically present as a person who has experienced significant weight loss.

Myelodysplastic Syndrome Symptoms and Signs

Persons with Myelodysplastic Syndrome will experience and manifest symptoms and signs such as:


Since the production of red blood cells is the ones that get affected, the person may experience bruising and bleeding. Bruising appears as small red dots under one’s skin. Also, this symptom is associated with the fact that the person has thrombocytopenia or low platelet levels, which will lead to illness, Petechiae, Purpura, or bruising tendencies.

Shortness of breath

Due to the presence of unhealthy blood cells, the persons breathing may be affected. Hence, shortness of breath can manifest.


Due to the tendency to bleed and manifest bruises, the person may also experience paleness of the skin.


Infection can occur since persons with this condition have neutropenia or low count of neutrophil, which means that they are susceptible to infectious diseases.


Brought about by the lack of blood, persons may feel exhausted and fatigued. This condition commonly affects the blood quality.

Weight loss

Another symptom of Myelodysplastic syndrome is the presence of unexplained weight loss without apparent reason. It is not attributed to exercise or diet. One must note that it is uncommon to experience weight loss during the early phase of the disease condition. Generally, the symptoms related to the unexplained weight loss of persons with this kind of disease condition.

What are the types of Myelodysplastic Syndrome?

There are different types of Myelodysplastic syndromes, which are classified under subtypes based on the cellular blood types, like white cells, red cells, and platelets, and according to which type of blood group is associated with this disease condition. The following are the types of Myelodysplastic Syndrome:

  • Refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia

Here, there are actually two types of blood cells that are considered abnormal, and also have immature cells or what is medically termed as blasts.

  • Refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts

This involves low red blood cell counts. These contain excess iron, which is why it is called ringed sideroblasts.

  • Refractory cytopenia with unilinear dysplasia

Here, only one type of blood cell is considered to be low in number. This type of blood cell will be abnormal when viewed under the microscope.

  • Unclassified myelodysplastic syndrome

This is an uncommon type where there is a reduction of a kind of mature blood cells. It occurs where the platelets and white blood cells appear abnormal.

  • Refractory anemia with excess blasts

This involves any of the three types of blood cells: the platelets, white blood cells, or red blood cells. Here, there are immature blood cells or blasts that are seen in the person’s blood.

  • Myelodysplastic syndrome that is associated with isolated chromosome abnormality

When a person is diagnosed with this type of myelodysplastic syndrome, the person has a low count of red blood cells as well as a defect in the DNA of the cells. Click here to know more about its management, survival rate, and complications.