Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms have features of both myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative neoplasms.
In myelodysplastic diseases, the blood stem cells do not mature into healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. The immature blood cells, called blasts, do not work the way they should and die in the bone marrow or soon after they enter the blood. As a result, there are fewer healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
In myeloproliferative diseases, a greater than normal number of blood stem cells become one or more types of blood cells and the total number of blood cells slowly increases.
This summary is about neoplasms that have features of both myelodysplastic and myeloproliferative diseases. See the following PDQ
summaries for more information about related diseases:
When a myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm does not match any of these types, it is called myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm, unclassifiable (MDS/MPN-UC).
Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms may progress to acute leukemia.
Tests that examine the blood and bone marrow are used to detect (find) and diagnose myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
and history: An exam of the body to check general signs
of health, including checking for signs of disease such as an enlarged spleen
and liver. A history of the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
The portion of the sample made up of red blood cells.
Peripheral blood smear: A procedure in which a sample of blood is checked for blast cells, the number and kinds of white blood cells, the number of platelets, and changes in the shape of blood cells.
Blood chemistry studies: A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by organs
and tissues in the body. An unusual (higher or lower than normal) amount of a substance can be a sign of disease.
The following tests may be done on the sample of tissue that is removed:
Cytogenetic analysis: A test in which cells in a sample of blood or bone marrow are viewed under a microscope to look for certain changes in the chromosomes.
cells in myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms do not contain the Philadelphia chromosome
that is present in chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Immunocytochemistry: A test that uses antibodies
to check for certain antigens
in a sample of bone marrow. The antibody is usually linked to a radioactive
substance or a dye that causes the cells in the sample to light up under a microscope. This type of test is used to tell the difference between myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms, leukemia, and other conditions.
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