This disorder is part of the heterogeneous category of myelodysplastic syndrome
(MDS). According to the FAB classification of MDS, RAEB includes those patients with 5-20% blasts in the bone marrow
(BM). Because the severity of the disease largely depends on the percentage of blasts in the BM, two categories of RAEB were recognised by the WHO classification, i.e. RAEB-1 and RAEB-2, with 5-9% and 10-19% blasts, respectively.
Treatment of this condition in the elderly patient is largely supportive, including blood transfusion
in patients with symptomatic anemia. Anemic patients with low serum erythropoietin
(EPO) levels may benefit of the administration of rHu-EPO. Low dose cytarabine can be used to reduce the burden of blasts. Myeloablative regimens including anthracyclines and cytarabine in conventional or high doses can be used in high-risk patients under 60 years. Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation
may offer a chance of cure in young patients.
Median survival of RAEB falls in the 1-2 year range. The best outcome is usually observed in RAEB-1.