Potential effectiveness of stored cord blood (non-frozen) for emergency use

Norman Ende, Shan Lu, Milton Ende, Dennis Giuliani, Rosanna J. Ricafort, Mark G. Alcid, Marconi D. Deladisma, Luz Bagtas-Ricafort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Bone marrow has been used for a number of years to assist patients who have accidentally received potentially lethal levels of irradiation. The intent of the transplant is to replace the victim's own bone marrow that has been injured from the irradiation or to act as temporary support to allow the patient's own marrow to recover. Following the Chernobyl disaster, some victims received bone marrow that was HLA matched or partially matched. However, donor marrows were difficult to obtain in adequate numbers; as a substitute for bone marrow, frozen fetal liver cells were used as a source of hematopoietic stem cells. The use of fetal livers, however, was unsuccessful. Human umbilical cord blood, currently considered an excellent source of hematopoietic stem cells, was not used at Chernobyl. For several years, we have been able experimentally to keep SJL/J mice alive with the use of human umbilical cord blood after the animals received lethal levels of irradiation. This finding suggests that under certain conditions human cord blood does not have to be HLA matched to facilitate rescue from irradiation. In addition, there are reports of unmatched HLA cord blood being used successfully for marrow transplantation. If human cord blood does not have to be matched for HLA, there may be emergency cataclysmic circumstances where the availability of umbilical cord blood may be of considerable value. To simulate a clinical situation such as a nuclear accident, in which human cord blood might serve as a source of stem cells for marrow transplantation, we attempted to rescue immunocompetent mice after 900 cGY of irradiation with the use of (nonfrozen) human cord blood stored in a blood bank. The blood was stored under routine conditions (3-6°C) for 5 and 7 days in special bags that allow transmission of oxygen. Following lethal levels of irradiation, the cord blood was administered to the animals and a significant survival rate was obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-677
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • HLA mismatched
  • cord blood
  • disaster medicine
  • nuclear accident
  • radiation disaster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Potential effectiveness of stored cord blood (non-frozen) for emergency use'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this