The International Prognostic Scoring System
Many doctors use the International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) to aid them in assessing the severity of a patient's MDS. Doctors design a treatment plan around the patient's score and their personal observations of the patient. The IPSS uses three "prognostic indicators" to predict the course of the patient's disease:
- the percentage of blast cells in the marrow
- the type of chromosomal changes, if any, in the marrow cells
- the presence of one or more low blood cell counts (cytopenias)
Each indicator is rated according to its severity, and doctors come up with a "score" that describes the patient's risk. Risk categories are:
The low and intermediate categories are sometimes combined into a lower risk group; the intermediate-2 and high categories are sometimes combined into a higher risk group.