Risk stratification based on both disease status and extra-hematologic comorbidities in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome

Matteo G. della Porta, Luca Malcovati, Corinna Strupp, Ilaria Ambaglio, Andrea Kuendgen, Esther Zipperer, Erica Travaglino, Rosangela Invernizzi, Cristiana Pascutto, Mario Lazzarino, Ulrich Germing, Mario Cazzola

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The incidence of myelodysplastic syndromes increases with age and a high prevalence of co-morbid conditions has been reported in these patients. So far, risk assessment in myelodysplastic syndromes has been mainly based on disease status. We studied the prognostic impact of comorbidity on the natural history of myelodysplastic syndrome with the aim of developing novel tools for risk assessment. The study population included a learning cohort of 840 patients diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome in Pavia, Italy, and a validation cohort of 504 patients followed in Duesseldorf, Germany. Information on comorbidity was extracted from detailed review of the patients' medical charts and laboratory values at diagnosis and during the course of the disease. Univariable and multivariable survival analyses with both fixed and timedependent covariates were performed using Cox's proportional hazards regression models. Comorbidity was present in 54% of patients in the learning cohort. Cardiac disease was the most frequent comorbidity and the main cause of nonleukemic death. In multivariable analysis, comorbidity had a significant impact on both non-leukemic death (P=0.01) and overall survival (P=0.02). Cardiac, liver, renal, pulmonary disease and solid tumors were found to independently affect the risk of non-leukemic death. A time-dependent myelodysplastic syndrome-specific comorbidity index (MDS-CI) was developed for predicting the effect of comorbidity on outcome. This identified three groups of patients which showed significantly different probabilities of non-leukemic death (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-449
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Comorbidity
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Risk stratification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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