Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a rare group of blood disorders characterized by abnormal development of blood cells within the bone marrow. Individuals with MDS have abnormally low blood cell levels (low blood counts).
Signs and symptoms associated with MDS include dizziness, fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, bruising and bleeding, frequent infections, and headaches. In some cases, MDS may progress to bone marrow failure or an acute leukemia. The exact cause of MDS is unknown. It sometimes runs in families, but no disease-causing gene has been identified. Treatment depends on the affected individual’s age, general health, and type of MDS and may include red cell and/or platelet transfusions and antibiotics.