Quality assurance of progenitor cell content of apheresis products: A comparison of clonogenic assays and CD34+ enumeration

G. Rock, I. Chin-Yee, G. Cantin, A. Giulivi, S. Gluck, A. Keating, M. Keeny, J. Klassen, R. Sutherland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The most common methods used for evaluation of the haematopoietic stem cell content of peripheral blood apheresis products are the colony forming cell assay and the enumeration of CD34+ cells by flow cytometry. The Canadian Apheresis Group and the Canadian Bone Marrow Transplant Group established a multicentre study to compare the reproducibility of colony forming cell assays and CD34+ enumeration by flow cytometry in six transplant centres routinely performing haematopoietic stem cell apheresis. Over a 5-month period in 1996, 31 fresh apheresis samples were shipped by overnight courier for testing at six centres to perform CD34+ enumeration by flow cytometry and clonogenic assays. The mean coefficient of variation and range for the following assays were: cell count 36% (2.6-148%), CFU-GM 82% (46-123%), CD34+ absolute/kg 60% (14-174%) and CD34+ per cent 42% (12-84%). The wide variation in cell count in this pilot study highlights the difficulties related to provision of samples for quality assessment programmes. Results showed poor interinstitutional reproducibility even among selected samples with similar cell counts for both CFC and CD34+ assays demonstrating the need for development and implementation of an interinstitutional quality assurance programme for haematopoietic stem cell assessment. Provision of a reliable source of testing material will be a necessary next step.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalTransfusion Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Apheresis
  • Haematopoietic stem cells
  • Quality assurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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