Fifty-one patients with primary myelodysplastic syndrome were prospectively evaluated using a scoring system based on the presentation blood and bone marrow findings. Twenty-four patients (47%) evolved to acute nonlymphocytic leukemia. Stepwise regression model showed that the scoring system was the only significant variable for predicting transformation to acute leukemia (p = 0.0007, sensitivity 70.8%, specificity 77.8%). Seventy-six percent of patients with a score of 14 or greater developed acute leukemia compared to 19% with a score of 13 or less. Median survival of the entire group was 10 months. The most important prognostic factor for predicting survival was the scoring system (p = 0.0001). Survival correlated inversely with the score. This scoring system may be useful in the management of patients with myelodysplasia.