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Hong Kong Med J. 2004 Apr;10(2):89-95.

Unrelated umbilical cord blood transplantation in children: experience of the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong.



To review the outcome of unrelated umbilical cord blood transplantation in children using cord blood from the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service.


Retrospective study.


Records of eight patients who received unrelated umbilical cord blood transplants between 1999 and 2003 were reviewed.


Engraftment of haematopoietic cells and graft-versus-host disease after transplantation.


The median age of the patients was 4.9 years (range, 1.0-9.4 years). Five patients had acute leukaemia, one had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, one had X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, and one had mucolipidosis. The infused umbilical cord blood units contained a median of 6.7 x 10(7) /kg nucleated cells and 4.0 x 10(5) /kg CD34-positive cells. Neutrophil engraftment was achieved at a median of 13 days (range, 11-19 days) and, for seven patients, platelet engraftment was achieved at a median of 39 days (range, 24-98 days). Acute graft-versus-host disease occurred in all patients (grades I to III). One of the patients died because of encephalitis; of the other seven, five developed chronic graft-versus-host disease of the skin. At a median follow-up of 2 years, the four patients with leukaemia and the one with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma remained in continuous complete remission; the patient with adrenoleukodystrophy showed stabilisation of neurological condition.


The Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service Cord Blood Bank stored cord blood units of good quality for transplantation, the outcome of which was comparable to that of bone marrow transplantation.

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