Is more frequent transfusions the answer for RARS-T?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 17, 2016
Laura gay asked...

Have you heard of the blood disorder called RARS-T (refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts associated with marked thrombocytosis). It has the features of both myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative disorders. My husband is having transfusions every two weeks. His red blood count is very low and is getting worse. How long can he go on like this. Will he have transfusions closer together? Is that possible?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

I have heard of the disorder RARS-T, as I just answered a question about it last week on this website (check out my answer if you would like more info).

Regarding your concerns about your husband, if his blood count gets low enough, he can continue to get transfusions as he needs them.

The bigger issue is that you sound very worried about his condition. His disorder does sound severe, and it may even be life-threatening. First, I would recommend that your husband see a hemotologist regularly for his condition, as RARS-T is not common, and I think that they would be best able to recommend treatments. Regarding how long can he "go on like this," your asking questions that his doctors should have already discussed with both of you. Therefore, I would suggest that and your husband sit down with his doctor and discuss your concerns regarding his prognosis (how serious his condition is). You may also want to get a second opinion from another doctor, given the rarity of this blood disorder.