The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS, formerly known as "preleukemia") are a diverse collection of haematological conditions united by ineffective production of blood cells. Anemia requiring chronic blood transfusion is frequently present.
MDS is due to genetic defects in the multi-potent blood stem cell of the bone marrow. Most of these are not yet described. Differentiation of the abnormal cells is impaired. Clonal expansion of the abnormal cells lead to production of abnormal cells and decreased production of normal bone marrow products.