The results of a prospective study of 58 patients with refractory anemia and partial blastic infiltration of the bone marrow lead to the following conclusions. The median survival (12 months from diagnosis) is shorter and the rate of acute leukemia as cause of death (60%) higher than in other retrospective series. This group of patients, however, appears to be a "continuum" of preleukemic states with more or less rapid evolution, so that the exclusion of the most severe cases appears unjustified. Based on the degree of bone marrow blastosis, and also on the degree of blood cytopenias, the anomalies of 59 Fe incorporation kinetics and the bone marrow stem-cell cultures, it is possible to derive a plausible prognosis for individual patients, which could aid the choice of therapy. Androgen therapy does not accelerate leukemic evolution, but does not improve the bone marrow insufficiency. Cytosine-arabinoside at low dosage exhibited no toxicity, but did not delay the appearance of overt leukemia.