Patterns of treatment and costs associated with transfusion burden in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes

Amy Dezern, Gary Binder, Syed Rizvi, Frank A. Corvino, Steven R. Arikian, Andy Surinach, Jianyi Lee, B Douglas Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Transfusion dependence (TD) among myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients negatively impacts survival and health-related quality of life. We evaluated cost patterns of MDS care during TD and transfusion independence (TI). MDS patients were identified from a US claims database (2008–2013). TD was defined as ≥2 consecutive 8-week periods with ≥1 claim during each, and no interim 56-day period without transfusion; TI as 8 subsequent transfusion-free weeks; and transfusion frequency as the mean interval between transfusions during the TD period. 13,741 patients were included; 19% were TD and 70% had a mean interval between transfusions of ≤28 days. During a 2-year period, TD patients incurred a mean total cost of $17,815/patient-month; 53% higher for those with ≤28 days ($19,498) vs. >28 days ($12,717) between transfusions. Among patients who achieved TI, mean total cost was $7874/patient-month. For TD-MDS patients, cost increases are proportional to transfusion frequency and achieving TI yields economic benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 18 2017



  • cost
  • health-related quality of life
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • transfusion dependence
  • transfusion independence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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