Managing anaemia in bone marrow failure syndromes

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Purpose of review

Anaemia is a common haematological presentation in patients with bone marrow failure, yet a challenging condition to treat. As anaemia has a direct impact on the patient's symptoms, managing anaemia in the common bone marrow failure conditions, such as myelodysplastic syndrome will help to improve the quality of life. This review discusses the available treatment options and the benefit of improving the haemoglobin level.

Recent findings

Managing anaemia effectively has shown to improve the patient outcome, yet treatment option remain limited. Recently, activin inhibitors such as Luspatercept have shown to be effective in patients’ refractory to ESAs and further clinical trials are ongoing to explore this further.


Transfusion still remains the mainstay of treatment in patients not suitable, lost response or refractory to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). Majority of these patients are not suitable for definite treatment options such as bone marrow transplantation. The aim of treatment remains improving the quality of life and newer therapeutic options may offer better and more sustained response.

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