What are the possible complications of RBC transfusions to treat myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)?

Updated: Jul 24, 2018
  • Author: Emmanuel C Besa, MD; Chief Editor: Koyamangalath Krishnan, MD, FRCP, FACP  more...
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Patients with low-risk or intermediate-1–risk MDS typically have long-term survival and may receive multiple RBC transfusions. These patients may develop transfusion-induced iron overload and can incur significant damage of the liver, heart, pancreas, and other tissues. In addition, some evidence suggests that iron overload in the bone marrow adds to the cellular early apoptosis contributed by the microenvironment. [21]

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