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Hum Immunol. 2013 Feb;74(2):189-95. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2012.10.018. Epub 2012 Nov 5.

Analysis of the adequate size of a cord blood bank and comparison of HLA haplotype distributions between four populations.

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Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Kivihaantie 7, FI-00310 Helsinki, Finland.


The number of units and especially the number of different HLA haplotypes present in a cord blood (CB) bank is a crucial determinant of its usefulness. We generated data relevant to the development of our national CB in Finland. The HLA haplotype distribution was examined between specific populations. We developed graphical ways of data presentation that enable easy visualization of differences. First, we estimated the optimal size of a CB bank for Finland and found that approximately 1700 units are needed to provide a 5/6 HLA-matched donor for 80% of Finnish patients. Secondly, we evaluated HLA haplotype distributions between four locations, Finland, Japan, Sweden and Belgium. Our results showed that the Japanese Tokyo Cord Blood Bank differs in both the frequency and distribution of haplotypes from the European banks. The European banks (Finnish Cord Blood Registry, The Swedish National Cord Blood Bank, and Marrow Donor Program-Belgium) have similar frequencies of common haplotypes, but 26% of the haplotypes in the Finnish CB bank are unique, which justifies the existence of a national bank. The tendency to a homogenous HLA haplotype distribution in banks underlines the need for targeting recruitment at the poorly represented minority populations.

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