Recommendations on eligibility criteria for donation of haematopoietic stem cells, management of collection of the cells and follow-up mainly concern unrelated donors. The aim of this study was to analyse the screening of related donors and collection practices at different Italian apheresis centres.
Materials and methods.
A questionnaire regarding eligibility criteria for related haematopoietic stem cell donors, their peripheral blood collections and early follow-up was sent to several apheresis units. Data from the full charts of 500 candidates, screened between May 2005 and December 2009, were retrospectively evaluated.
The donors’ records, eligibility criteria, collections and follow-up are managed differently in each centre. Of the 500 evaluable candidates (51.2% male, 49.8% female; median age 47 years, range 13–77), 26.4% underwent thorough screening according to Italian Bone Marrow Donor Registry standards, while local protocols were applied to 73.6%; 91 candidates (18.2%) proved ineligible for donation. In the end, 352 donors (53.4% male, 46.6% female; median age 45 years, range 16–76) underwent 508 leukaphereses. Central venous catheters were used in 8.0% of donors, mainly in one centre. Unsuitable pre-apheresis peripheral blood parameters were reported in 38.7% of the aphereses. Leukapheresis-related adverse events were recorded in 23.0% of the procedures, with a drop-out rate of 0.2% for severe events. No donation-related fatalities occurred. The CD34+ cell yield was <2×106/kg of recipient’s body weight from 1.1% of donors ≥70 years old.
More uniformity in donor screening procedures, management of peripheral blood collection and follow-up should be planned at a national level to maximise the safety of related donors.