Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is a group of bone marrow failure disorders. A condition that goes undetected, MDS is characterised by the body’s inability to make sufficient healthy, normal blood cells in the bone marrow.


  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual paleness (pallor)
  • Easy or unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Pinpoint-sized red spots just beneath the skin that are caused by bleeding (petechiae)
  • Frequent infections, which occur due to a low white blood cell count (leukopenia)


  • Do a physical exam to check for other possible reasons for your symptoms.
  • Take a sample of blood to count the different types of cells.
  • Get a sample of bone marrow for analysis. A doctor will insert a special needle into your hip bone.
  • Order a genetic analysis of cells from the bone marrow.


Treatment of MDS will depend on its type and severity.
Initially, your doctor may want to know if your blood mount is at an optimal range or not.
Other forms of serious treatment include:

  • Blood transfusions.
  • Iron chelation.
  • Growth factors.
  • Stem cell transplant.