Immune reconstitution following umbilical cord blood transplantation: IRES, a study of UK paediatric patients

EJHaem. 2020 May 21;1(1):208-218. doi: 10.1002/jha2.12. eCollection 2020 Jul.


To obtain a qualitative as well as quantitative view immune reconstitution following umbilical cord blood (UCB) transplantation of paediatric patients, we utilised a broad panel of flow cytometry markers to monitor the phenotypes of lymphoid and myeloid cells at 1-12 months post-transplant. Samples were received from 46 patients with a median age of 3.3 years and survival was 76% at 1 year. Monocytes were at similar or higher median levels than in adult controls at all times tested, with a high CD16+ proportion in the first 3 months. NK cells were also within adult ranges, with a CD56++ high proportion in the first 6 months. B cell recovery was seen from 2 months in most patients and T cells from 3 months, both were delayed with anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) treatment. CD4:CD8 ratios were high in the first 6 months, and the proportion of T cells with recent thymic emigrant and naïve phenotypes rose from 3 months. NK and plasmacytoid dendritic cell numbers remained at reduced levels in patients not surviving to 1 year. Our results can serve as a useful reference for detailed monitoring of immune reconstitution in paediatric recipients of UCB.

Keywords: cord blood; immunophenotyping; stem cell transplantation.