MDS Testing: What to Expect

If signs and symptoms suggest you have MDS, your healthcare provider may require tests to look at your blood and bone marrow.

What Are Blood Tests?

  • Through blood tests an examination of the number of blood cells and the size and shape of the blood cells will be made
  • In a complete blood count (CBC), blood is taken from your arm. It is then examined under a microscope to see the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets that are in your blood
    • Blood cells from MDS patients may also have certain abnormalities in size, shape, or other features that can be seen under the microscope
  • Additional blood tests may be performed to check your liver and kidney function

What Is a Bone Marrow Biopsy?

  • A bone marrow biopsy is done by inserting a hollow needle into the hip or breast bone and taking a sample of bone marrow
  • This test examines a small piece of bone and marrow to determine the size, appearance, and type of cells that the marrow is making

What Are Cytogenetic Tests?

  • These tests examine chromosomes, which contain the genetic information used to create new cells
  • Changes in chromosomes may occur in patients with MDS

For U.S. Healthcare Professionals

The section you selected contains information intended for U.S. healthcare professionals only.
Please certify that you are a U.S. healthcare professional by clicking the link below.

Yes, I am a U.S. healthcare professional
No, I am not a U.S. healthcare professional


DACOGEN is a prescription medicine indicated for treatment of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), including:

Previously treated and untreated MDS
De novo (cause unknown) and secondary (treatment-related) MDS:
  • All French-American-British (FAB) subtypes (refractory anemia, refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts, refractory anemia with excess blasts, refractory anemia with excess blasts in transformation, and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia)
  • Intermediate-1, intermediate-2, and high-risk International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) groups


Treatment with DACOGEN is associated with serious, sometimes fatal, blood disorders including:
  • fewer white blood cells (neutropenia and leukopenia), platelets (thrombocytopenia), and/or red blood cells (anemia)
  • fever associated with low white blood cell counts (febrile neutropenia)
  • bone marrow suppression
  • infections
Your doctor will test and monitor your blood cells before and during treatment with DACOGEN. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help manage your blood cell counts and/or medicines to prevent or treat infections. Your doctor may need to delay your treatment and/or reduce your dose if you experience certain side effects. Patients should monitor and report any symptoms or fever to their doctor as soon as possible
Harm to a fetus when administered to a pregnant woman: Women of childbearing potential and men with female partners of childbearing potential should use effective contraception and avoid pregnancy while taking DACOGEN
Other common side effects including:
  • feeling tired (fatigue)
  • fever (pyrexia)
  • nausea
  • cough
  • reddish or purplish spots (petechiae)
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
DACOGEN should be used with caution if you have kidney or liver problems
You are encouraged to report side effects of DACOGEN® (decitabine), please contact Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. at 1-800-438-9927 or FDA at 1-800-FDA1088 (