Autoimmune syndromes presenting as a paraneoplastic manifestation of myelodysplastic syndromes: clinical features, course, treatment and outcome

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Bradley T. Williamson
Lynda Foltz
Heather A. Leitch *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Heather A. Leitch |


Autoimmune manifestations (AIM) are reported in up to 10-30% of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients; this association is not well defined. We present herein a retrospective chart review of single center MDS patients for AIM, a case discussion and a literature review. Of 252 MDS patients examined, 11 (4.4%) had AIM around MDS diagnosis. International Prognostic Scoring System scores were: low or intermediate (int)-1 (n=7); int-2 or high (n=4). AIM were: culture negative sepsis (n=7); inflammatory arthritis (n=3); vasculitis (n=4); sweats; pericarditis; polymyalgia rheumatica (n=2 each); mouth ulcers; pulmonary infiltrates; suspicion for Behcet’s; polychondritis and undifferentiated (n=1 each). AIM treatment and outcome were: prednisone +/- steroid sparing agents, n=8, ongoing symptoms in 5; azacitidine (n=3), 2 resolved; and observation, n=1, ongoing symptoms. At a median follow up of 13 months, seven patients are alive. In summary, 4.4% of MDS patients presented with concomitant AIM. MDS should remain on the differential diagnosis of patients with inflammatory symptoms.

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