The impact of ABO incompatibility between donor and recipient on engraftment and transfusion requirement was studied in 95 adults who underwent unrelated cord blood transplantation (CBT). The patients included 27 ABO-identical, 29 minor, 21 major and 18 bidirectional ABO-incompatible recipients. Neutrophil engraftment did not differ between ABO-identical-minor ABO-incompatible and major-bidirectional ABO-incompatible recipients (hazard ratio (HR) 1.17, P = 0.48). Cumulative incidence of platelet engraftment in ABO-identical-minor ABO-incompatible recipients was higher than in major-bidirectional ABO-incompatible recipients (HR 1.88, P = 0.013). In addition, fewer platelet transfusions were required during the first 60 days after CBT in ABO-identical-minor ABO-incompatible recipients (HR 0.80, P = 0.040). RBC engraftment did not differ between the two groups (HR 1.25, P = 0.33). However, fewer RBC transfusions were required in ABO-identical-minor ABO-incompatible recipients than in major-bidirectional ABO-incompatible recipients (HR 0.74, P = 0.005). No patients developed pure red-cell aplasia after CBT. These results indicate that ABO incompatibility affected platelet engraftment and transfusion requirement of RBC and platelet in CBT recipients. Further studies including larger patient numbers are required to elucidate the impact of ABO incompatibility on the clinical outcome of CBT.
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