Validation of a novel algorithm with a high specificity in ruling out MDS

Felicitas Schulz*, Kathrin Nachtkamp, Howard S. Oster, Moshe Mittelman, Norbert Gattermann, Sarah Schweier, Carmen Barthuber, Ulrich Germing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: A previously published web-based App using Gradient-boosted models (GBMs) of eight laboratory parameters was established by Oster et al. to facilitate diagnosis or exclusion of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) in patients. Methods: To validate their algorithm, we compared 175 anemic patients with MDS diagnosis from our German MDS Registry with 1378 non-MDS anemic patients who consulted various specialties in the Düsseldorf university hospital. Results: Based on hemoglobin level, leukocyte and platelet count, mean corpuscular volume, absolute neutrophil count, absolute monocyte count, glucose and creatinine, plus the patients' gender and age, we could not reproduce a high negative predictive value (NPV), but confirmed a useful specificity of 90.9% and a positive predictive value (PPV) of 77.1%. 1192 of 1378 controls were correctly categorized as “probably not MDS (pnMDS)” patients. A total of 65 patients were wrongly classified as “probable MDS (pMDS),” of whom 48 had alternative explanations for their altered laboratory results. In a second analysis, we included 29 patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) resulting in only one label as possible MDS, suggesting that highly proliferative bone marrow disorders are correctly excluded. Conclusion: The possibility of reliably excluding MDS from differential diagnosis based on peripheral blood lab work appears to be attractive for patients and physicians alike while the confirmation of MDS diagnosis still requires a bone marrow biopsy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Laboratory Hematology
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


FundersFunder number
Deutsche Krebshilfe


    • anemia
    • differential diagnoses
    • MDS
    • myelodysplastic syndromes


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