We retrospectively tested the prognostic and diagnostic significance of CD271+ mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) density in cytopenic patients who underwent bone marrow biopsy to evaluate for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
CD271+ MSC density was quantitated by automated image analysis of tissue microarray cores in 125 cytopenic patients: 40 lower grade MDS (<5% marrow blasts), 24 higher grade MDS, and 61 benign.
CD271+ MSC density was increased in higher grade MDS compared with benign (P = .006) and lower grade MDS (P = .02). CD271+ MSC density was predictive of survival among patients with MDS independent of Revised International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS-R), history of transfusion, therapy-related MDS, and fibrosis (hazard ratio, 3.4; P < .001). Among low or intermediate IPSS-R patients, median survival was significantly shorter in the high CD271+ MSC density group (47 vs 18 months, P < .02).
High CD271+ MSC density is characteristic of higher grade MDS and is associated with poor risk independent of known prognostic factors.