Characteristics of umbilical cord blood units collected from preterm deliveries.
ABSTRACT Umbilical cord blood (UCB) banking is a well-established activity supporting the increasing number of UCB transplantations in haematological diseases. Our aim was to analyse the UCB characteristics of UCB units from preterm deliveries and compare them to full-term deliveries.
A prospective study in 194 preterm deliveries occurring at the La Fe University Hospital in Valencia was performed. Patients between 25 and 37 weeks of gestation were included. Those cases were compared to a full-term deliveries control group.
The cases were grouped according to the gestational age: between 25 and 33 weeks (group 1), between 34 and 37 weeks (group 2) and between 38 and 42 weeks (group 3). Among obstetric variables, only arterial pH and maternal age variables were similar for all the groups. Higher CD34(+) cell counts were observed in the group 2, while the clonogenic efficiency was higher for the most preterm deliveries.
UCB from deliveries of at least 34 weeks of gestation contain sufficient hematopoietic stem cell content for unrelated banking and transplantation, even containing higher CD34(+) cell content than UCB units from full-term deliveries. However, UCB from deliveries of less than 33 weeks' gestation contain only sufficient progenitors for children under 20 kg.