Number of viable CD34+ cells reinfused predicts engraftment in autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
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Reduced CD34(+) cell viability due to cryopreservation has unknown effects on subsequent hematopoietic engraftment in autologous transplantation. Thirty-six consecutive autologous peripheral stem cell collections were analyzed for absolute viable CD34(+) cell numbers at the time of stem cell collection and prior to re-infusion. Viable CD34(+) cells were enumerated using single platform flow cytometry and the molecular exclusion dye 7-amino actinomycin D. The median number of viable CD34(+) cells was 3.6 x 10(6)/kg at the time of harvest and 2.0 x 10(6)/kg after thawing. When viable CD34(+)cells enumerated after thawing were <2.0, 2.0-5.0, or >5.0 x 10(6)/kg, the median time to platelet engraftment was 17, 12 and 10 days, respectively (P < 0.05 for comparison of the group with <2.0 x 10(6)/kg and the other two groups), and the median time to neutrophil engraftment was 13, 14 and 12 days, respectively (P = NS). A minimum of 2.0 x 10(6) CD34(+) cells/kg was harvested in 33 of 36 patients (92%) but only 19 of 36 (52%) patients met this threshold at the time of reinfusion. The reduced numbers of viable CD34(+) cells measured prior to re-infusion is associated with time to platelet engraftment and may be useful in monitoring stem cell loss during processing and identifying patients at risk of graft failure.
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