A "No-wash" Albumin-Dextran Dilution Strategy for Cord Blood Unit Thaw: High Rate of Engraftment and a Low Incidence of Serious Infusion Reactions

Juliet N. Barker, Michelle Abboud, Robert D. Rice, Rebecca Hawke, Allison Schaible, Glenn Heller, Vincent La Russa, Andromachi Scaradavou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Preparation of cord blood (CB) units for infusion by albumin-dextran dilution without centrifugation may be advantageous for adult patients to minimize cell loss and, unlike a bedside thaw, is still conducted in the controlled laboratory environment. Therefore, we studied CB transplantation (CBT) using this technique in 54 consecutive CBT recipients >20 kg. Patients (median age=42 years [range: 7-66 years]; median weight=71 kg [range: 24-109]) were transplanted for high-risk hematologic malignancies with myeloablative (n=35) or nonmyeloablative (n=19) conditioning and 4-6/6 human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched double-unit grafts. One hundred seven units were thawed with dilution, whereas 1 red blood cell (RBC)-replete unit was washed. A 5:1 dextran 40%/25% albumin solution was used. RBC-depleted units (n=104) were diluted ≥5.5-fold (median final volume 200 mL [range: 200-500]), whereas RBC-replete units (n=3) were diluted ≥4-fold (median final volume 400 mL [range: 400-535]). Total nucleated cell (TNC) recovery was 86%; the median infused TNC dose was 2.17×107/kg/unit. Although 35 patients (65%) had a total of 45 infusion reactions (6 nausea, 31 hypertension, 3 pain, 1 rigors/fever, 2 transient hypoxia, 2 renal impairment) requiring additional therapy, there were no infusion-related serious adverse events, and reactions were not related to dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) dose/kg. Cumulative incidence of sustained donor engraftment was 94% (95% cumulative incidence [CI]: 87-100) with neutrophil recovery occurring at a median of 25 days (range: 13-43) in myeloablative and 10 days (range: 7-36) in nonmyeloablative recipients. CB thaw with albumin-dextran dilution reduces unit manipulation, and minimizes cell loss, speeds time to infusion, is associated with a tolerable infusion reaction profile, and a high rate of sustained engraftment in CBT recipients ≥20 kg.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1596-1602
Number of pages7
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cord Blood
  • Cryopreservation
  • Hematopoeitic stem cell transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Hematology


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