Refractory anemia with excess of blasts [RAEB] digital illustration

Refractory anemia with excess of blasts [RAEB] Save

ICD-10 code: D46.2

Chapter: Neoplasms

Understanding Refractory Anemia with Excess of Blasts [RAEB]

Refractory anemia with excess of blasts (RAEB) is a rare type of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). MDS is a group of disorders that affect the bone marrow and blood cells. RAEB occurs when the bone marrow produces an excessive number of immature blood cells, known as blasts, which do not mature into healthy blood cells. This can lead to a shortage of healthy blood cells, causing symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and increased susceptibility to infections.

RAEB is classified into two subtypes, RAEB-1 and RAEB-2, based on the percentage of blasts present in the bone marrow. RAEB-1 is characterized by 5 to 9% blasts, while RAEB-2 is characterized by 10 to 19% blasts. RAEB-2 is considered more severe, as the higher number of blasts can lead to a greater risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Symptoms of RAEB

The symptoms of RAEB are similar to other types of MDS and can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms of RAEB include:

  1. Fatigue and weakness
  2. Pale skin
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Increased susceptibility to infections
  5. Bleeding and bruising easily
  6. Night sweats
  7. Weight loss

It is important to note that not everyone with RAEB will experience all of these symptoms. Some people may not experience any symptoms at all, while others may have more severe symptoms.

Treatment for RAEB

Treatment for RAEB depends on several factors, including the subtype of RAEB, the severity of symptoms, and the overall health of the patient. Treatment options for RAEB include:

  1. Chemotherapy: This is the most common treatment for RAEB. Chemotherapy drugs are used to kill the abnormal cells in the bone marrow and allow healthy cells to grow.
  2. Bone marrow transplant: A bone marrow transplant may be recommended for patients with severe RAEB who have a suitable donor. This procedure involves replacing the patient's bone marrow with healthy bone marrow from a donor.
  3. Supportive care: This includes treatments to manage symptoms and complications of RAEB, such as blood transfusions, antibiotics, and growth factors.

It is important to discuss all treatment options with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for each individual patient.