Total nucleated cell (TNC) count, CD34(+) cell count, colony-forming unit-granulocyte-macrophage (CFU-GM) content, and cell viability impact the outcome of umbilical cord blood (UCB) transplantation. Assessments of unit quality have usually been provided by cord blood banks (CBBs), but it is unclear whether pre-freezing tests or pre-transplant release tests performed by CBBs are reproducible. The aim of this study was to compare the UCB characteristics analyzed at the site of infusion of the UCB with those provided by CBBs. Samples were taken from 54 UCB units for assessment of post-thaw characteristics. TNC counts and CD34(+) cell contents measured at our hospital before infusion showed good correlations with values assessed in pre-freezing tests (r = 0.900 and 0.943, respectively) and pre-transplant release tests (r = 0.829 and 0.930, respectively). Our data reveal that the TNC counts and CD34(+) cell contents determined by pre-freezing and pre-transplant release tests, which are the most important UCB unit selection criteria, accurately reflected the quality of infused UCB units. However, CFU-GM content was poorly correlated (r = 0.560 and 0.606). Correlation of post-thaw cell viabilities measured before infusion and during the pre-transplant release tests was also poor (r = 0.308). We suggest that the TNC count and CD34(+) cell content estimated before cryopreservation and in pre-transplant release tests provided by CBBs are reproducible and can assist the transplant physicians in selection of appropriate UCB units.
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