Infections in Myelodysplastic Syndrome in Relation to Stage and Therapy

Giuseppe Leone, Livio Pagano

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

2 Citazioni (Scopus)


Infections remain a significant problem in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) in treated as well in non-treated patients and assume a particular complexity. The susceptibility to infections is due, in the absence of intensive chemotherapies, mainly to functional defects in the myeloid lineage with or without neutropenia. Furthermore, MDS includes a heterogeneous group of patients with very different prognosis, therapy and risk factors regarding survival and infections. You should distinguish risk factors related to the disease, like as neutrophils function impairment, neutropenia, unfavorable cytogenetics and bone marrow insufficiency; factors related to the patient, like as age and comorbidities, and factors related to the therapy. When the patients with MDS are submitted to intensive chemotherapy with and without hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), they have a risk factor for infection very similar to that of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and mostly related to neutropenia. Patients with MDS treated with supportive therapy only or with demethylating agent or lenalidomide or immunosuppressive drugs should have a tailored approach. Most of the infections in MDS originate from bacteria, and the main risk factors are represented by neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and unfavorable cytogenetics. Thus, it is reasonable to give antibacterial prophylaxis to patients who start the therapy with demethylating agents with a number of neutrophils <500 × 109/L, or with thrombocytopenia and unfavorable cytogenetics. The antifungal prophylaxis is not considered cost/benefit adequate and should be taken into consideration only when there is an antecedent fungal infection or presence of filamentous fungi in the surveillance cultures. Subjects submitted to immunosuppression with ATG+CSA have a high rate of infections, and when severely neutropenic should ideally be nursed in isolation, should be given prophylactic antibiotics and antifungals, regular mouth care including an antiseptic mouthwash.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)e2018039-e2018039
Numero di pagine17
RivistaMediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018


  • Azacitidine
  • Chemotherapy
  • Decitabine
  • Infections
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome


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