AUTOLOGOUS PERIPHERAL BLOOD STEM CELL COLLECTION IN PEDIATRIC PATIENTS
Summary. Autologous peripheral blood stem cells are increasingly used for transplantation instead of bone marrow, even in small children and adolescents. We analyzed 73 autologous leukaphereses performed in 25 children (36% males, 64% females). The median age was 15 years (range 3–18) and the median body weight 48 kg (range 16 –67). The apheresis proce- dures were carried out with cell separator COBE Spectra. Each patient underwent a median of 2 collections (range 1–6). The median total nucleated cell yield was 11.86×108/kg (range 1.94–21.21), mononuclear cell yield was 6.01×108/kg (range 0.97–12.73) and CD34+ cell yield was 3.5×106/kg (range 0.19–28.01). During 6 (8.22%) procedures the patients had experi- enced apheresis-related side effects. The citrate-induced reactions were most commonly observed. The reactions were mild and cessation of collection was required only in one case, because of catheter related complication. Our results show that leukapheresis in pediatric patients is a safe procedure, well tolerated and with a very low risk of serious adverse events.