BACKGROUND: Cord blood from deliveries at term can be used for HPC transplantation. The objective of this study was to determine the amounts of cord blood nucleated cells (NCs) and HPCs that were collectable from preterm deliveries.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Cord blood collected from preterm deliveries between 22 and 36 weeks of gestation was compared with regard to volume, NC count (/mL), CD34+ cell count (/mL), and the NC and CD34+ cell counts per cord blood sample and at different gestational ages.
RESULTS: A correlation was found between gestational age and NC count (r = 0.52, p<0.001), and an inverse relation was found between gestational age and CD34+ cell count (r = − 0.68, p<0.001). The CD34+ cell count per cord blood sample was independent of gestational age (r = − 0.13, p = NS), and no significant difference between early (22-32 week) and late (33-36 week) preterm deliveries was found (p = 0.870). Comparison with published data from cord blood transplantations revealed that up to one-third of preterm samples contained at least as many NCs (or CD34+ cells) as the median cell dose transplanted (calculated for the median recipient weight) in the respective study. Furthermore, 77 percent of all preterm samples contained at least 1 × 107 NCs (and 42% at least 1 × 105 CD34+ cells) per kg for transplantation in a recipient of 20-kg body weight, which corresponds to the lower threshold of cells per kg in the graft recommended by Eurocord.
CONCLUSION: Preterm delivery should not be a reason to exclude cord blood collection if allogeneic cord blood transplantation in a sibling is planned.