The myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) represents a group of hematopoietic neoplasms that is characterized by clonal hematopoiesis, cytopenia and abnormal cellular maturation. Red cell distribution width (RDW) refers to the variation degree of erythrocyte size and it is a reflection of anisocytosis. Higher values have been linked to adverse outcomes, such as increased mortality, vascular events, kidney and liver disease and demonstrated to harbor poor prognosis in solid and hematological malignancies. The RDW value can be used as a contributing parameter for MDS diagnosis, as well as its prognosis. In this study, we essentially aimed to demonstrate the correlation between the RDW and MDS prognostic indexes.
Ninety-four MDS patients at the Aydın Adnan Menderes University Hematology Division were included in the study. The correlations between the RDW and laboratory values (either lactate dehydrogenase, albumin, globulin or ferritin) and the RDW prognostic scoring indexes (IPSS, WPSS, IPSS-R and LR-PSS) were investigated. The PASW for Windows, version 21.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA), was used for statistical assessment. A p-value below 0.05 was the cut-off for the statistical significance.
The mean age of all the patients was 73 ± 10 years. Patients were observed for 41.88 ± 25 months. The mean RDW value for all cases was 15.5 ± 2.39. We found a statistically significant difference of survival between RDW values below and above 15.5% (p = 0.016). A significant difference was also observed according to the prognostic scoring indexes (see below).
An increase in RDW is probably related to dysplasia in the MDS and this constitutes a possible explanation for the poor outcome. Prognostic indexes might incorporate the RDW as a parameter in the future.