Umbilical cord blood is largely employed as an alternative source of stem cells in the treatment of hemato-oncological diseases. Current results show that the success rate of purified umbilical cord blood engraftment is comparable to that obtained using bone marrow, and it is directly related to the number of pluripotent stem cells transplanted. The technique of fetal blood collection varies among different umbilical cord blood banks. Many authors collect umbilical cord blood during vaginal delivery, after placental detachment, while others collect it while the placenta is still within the uterus. In a previous randomized trial, we showed a greater collection of umbilical cord blood before placental detachment during vaginal delivery. The present study was performed to determine whether umbilical cord blood collection before placental detachment (group A) during cesarean section is superior to that after placental delivery (group B) puncturing the umbilical vein once and using a closed bag system. To accomplish this, 47 pregnant women subjected to cesarean section were enrolled in the study. Twenty-one of them were allocated to group A, while the remaining 26 formed group B. The volume of umbilical cord blood collected from the patients of group A was greater than that collected from patients of group B. The cord blood volume collected was 90.7 ± 6.0 versus 60.9 ± 13.7 ml; the cord blood nucleated cell number was 10.1 ± 1.2 × 108 vs. 7.1 ± 0.8 × 108; and the mean cord blood CD34+ cell number was 20.0 ± 6.0 × 105 vs. 16.4 ± 2.4 × 105, respectively.

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