"One of the current problems with respect to the clinical use of cord blood stem cells involves the number of hematopoietic precursor cells contained in a single sample, which may not be sufficient for the reconstitution after myeloablative conditioning in adults," Dr. Uriel Elchalal, of the Hadassah Medical Organization, in Jerusalem, Israel, and a multicenter group explain in the January issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Use of the technique they describe in the journal, together with ex vivo expansion techniques, "may enhance the possibility of retrieving enough stem cells for successful transplantation in this category of patients."
Dr. Elchalal and colleagues compared the yields of three cord blood collection methods in 75 women with uncomplicated vaginal deliveries. The three methods included the standard blood bag method and withdrawal of cord blood with a syringe until placenta delivery followed by a second collection using saline flushing into either an open sterile container or a standard blood bag.
The two syringe/saline flush collection methods significantly increased the volume of cord blood retrieved and approximately doubled the yield of white blood cells, the investigators report. Bacterial contamination was higher with collection into an open sterile container; hence, collection into a blood bag was preferable.
Whether cord blood obtained by this method is as suitable for transplantation as cord blood collected by standard methods remains to be determined in animal and clinical studies, the authors note.
Am J Obstet Gynecol 2000;182:227-232.
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