BACKGROUND: Volume reduction of cord blood units decreases the cost of cryogenic storage. This study reports the analysis of a 10-year quality control program of a semiautomated cord blood volume reduction procedure.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Cord blood was collected in a plastic bag containing 29 mL citrate-phosphate-dextrose, centrifuged at 2124 × g for 12 minutes, and processed with a semiautomated device. The procedure was aimed at removing most red blood cells and plasma and concentrating hematopoietic progenitors in the buffy coat (BC), thus reducing the unit volume and saving cryogenic space. Finally, the BC was cryopreserved with an equal volume of 20 percent dimethyl sulfoxide. Total nucleated cells (TNCs) were counted before and after processing in the 4311 units banked from 1998 through 2007, whereas CD34+ cells and colony-forming units–granulocyte-macrophage (CFU-GM) were counted in 420 random units from 2001 through 2007.

RESULTS: Mean postvolume reduction annual recoveries of TNCs, CD34+ cells, and CFU-GM ranged from 82.8 ± 12.3 (standard deviation) to 91.4 ± 6.4 percent, from 87.8 ± 14.1 to 95.2 ± 23.8 percent, and from 101.5 ± 51.4 to 117.8 ± 59.5 percent, respectively. Very strong correlations were found (r > 0.87) between postprocessing versus preprocessing TNCs, CD34+ cells, and CFU-GM; a moderate correlation between initial TNC count and unit's volume (r = 0.51); and no correlation between TNC percentage of recovery in the BC and initial unit's volume. The latter data indicate that most TNCs concentrate in the BC.

CONCLUSIONS: The semiautomated procedure of cord blood unit volume reduction used in this study provides high and stable cellular recoveries during several years of routine cord blood banking.