Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of adultmyelodysplastic syndromes

Authors: Sally B. Killick  Chris Carter  Dominic Culligan  Christopher Dalley  Emma Das‐Gupta Mark Drummond  Helen Enright  Gail L. Jones  Jonathan Kell  Juliet Mills  Ghulam Mufti Jane Parker  Kavita Raj  Alexander Sternberg  Paresh Vyas  David Bowen British Committee for Standards in Haematology


The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a heterogeneous group of malignant haematopoietic disorders characterized by dysplastic changes in one or more cell lineages, ineffective haematopoiesis and a variable predilection to development of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) (Swerdlow et al, 2008). The incidence of MDS is approximately 4/100 000 population/year, but it is predominantly a disease of the elderly with an incidence of > 30/100 000/year over the age of 70 years.

Patients with suspected MDS should be assessed by a haematologist. As MDS is considered a rare or ‘orphan’ malignancy, patients should always be given the opportunity to be reviewed by a regional or national haematologist with a specific interest in MDS. All patients with a diagnosis of MDS must be discussed at a multi‐disciplinary meeting (MDT), which should include allogeneic stem cell transplant representation. All patients diagnosed with MDS should be reported to the National Cancer Registry via the MDT, and to MDS‐specific registries if appropriate.


Read or download here

IPSS-R MDS Risk Assessment Calculator

Revised International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS-R) for Myelodysplastic Syndromes Risk Assessment Calculator


Click here

MDS Fact Sheet

MDS Factsheet for GPs General Practicioners

MDS Fact Sheet

Click here

Varicella Vaccine in MDS

Urgent Clarification on varicella vaccine policy

Current advice from the UK MDS Forum is not to give the Live Varicella Vaccine to patients with MDS.

Please read below correspondence between Professor Salisbury and Dr George Follows, the latter on behalf of the CLL Forum, on the varicella vaccine policy.
This is an external link to the British Society for Haematology  Click here

NICE Guideline

Lenalidomide for treating myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) associated with an isolated deletion 5q cytogenetic abnormality.

NICE logo

Click here

BSH Guidelines

This is an external link to the home of the British Society for Haematology (BSH). 

BSH Logo Strapline RGB

Click here