The inventory size for cord blood (CB) depends on the ethnic diversity of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and the size estimation is important for public health in each ethnicity.

Study Design and Methods

We estimate the CB inventory size in Koreans with stored CB units (CBUs) and patients who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Two-digit HLA specificities were determined using intermediate DNA typing. From 17,508 stored Korean CBUs, 1460 haplotypes with a frequency greater than 0.001% were used for reconstitution of the HLA. A total of 1002 transplanted patients' HLA was used for matching probability calculation.


The best probability for 6/6 matching is 47% in 500,000 hypothetical size. Ninety-five percent probability is achieved with 51,000 CBUs in 5/6, and 2150 in 4/6 matching condition. Because 4/6 matched CB is rarely selected in the Korean situation, 51,000 units is the lowest limit of CBUs required and the number will be adjusted depending on the cell number required for patients and the resolution of HLA typing.


Approximately 51,000 units could provide the minimum requirement for hematopoietic transplantation in Korea.