Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases are diseases of the blood and bone marrow. Normally, the bone marrow makes stem cells (immature cells) that become mature blood cells. There are 3 types of mature blood cells:
In myelodysplastic diseases, the 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 stem cells develop into one or more types of blood cells and the total number of blood cells slowly increases.
This summary is about diseases that have features of both myelodysplastic and myeloproliferative diseases. See the following PDQ summaries for more information about related diseases:
The 3 main types of myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative disease include the following:
When a myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative disease does not match any of these types, it is called myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative disease, unclassifiable.
Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases may progress to acute leukemia.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
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