When parents have twins, they often choose to bank the cord blood of both twins for a variety of reasons. Genetic disorders can emerge in fraternal twins due to the contrasts in their genetic makeups and in both fraternal and identical twins because of environmental factors and epigenetics.1,2,3 For some blood and immune disorders, it may be better to use one twin’s stem cells to treat the other twin’s disease, especially because twins are more likely to be a strong HLA match for each other.
In this article:
Umbilical Cord Blood Bank Storage for Multiple Babies
Umbilical cord blood banking is the collection and storage of the blood contained within the umbilical cord of a newborn for future medical use. With multiple births, storing the cord blood from two or more babies increases the total amount of cord blood stored, making multiple doses available to the family if needed.
Cryo-Cell’s Cord Blood Collection Data
To see if and how the volume and the viability of collections are affected by two or more babies, Cryo-Cell International studied its cord blood collection data from the last 300 multiple births and the last 10,000 single births.
It chose these numbers as a representation of the approximately three percent of births that result in two or more offspring.
When comparing the median figures, Cryo-Cell International found that multiple-birth cord blood collections had 10 percent less volume than its single-birth cord blood collections.
However, each mutibirth collection had four times the number of total cells and eight times the number of CD34+ stem cells post-processing than the minimums Cryo-Cell requires.
Larger Viability in Processed Baby’s Cord Blood
Median total post and CD34+ (stem cell) viabilities were a superlative 94 percent and 99 percent, respectively, and well beyond Cryo-Cell’s minimum of 75 percent viability. The sample included both PrepaCyte-CB-processed cord blood and HES-processed cord blood and was drawn from collections taken from around the globe.
Advantage of Multiple Birth Collections
One can surmise from these data points that a clinically relevant amount of cord blood material is captured in multiple birth cord blood collections to provide therapies for either baby if needed.
Are you considering storage of umbilical cord blood from twins or triplets? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
1. Wong A.H., Gottesman I., Petronis A. (2005) Phenotypic differences in genetically identical organisms: the epigenetic perspective. Human Molecular Genetics, 14: Review Issue 1, R11-R18.
2. Fraga, M.F. et al. (2005) Epigenetic differences arise during the lifetime of monozygotic twins. PNAS, 102:10604-9.
3. Poulsen P., Esteller M., Vaag A., Fraga M.F. (2007) The Epigenetic Basis of Twin Discordance in Age-Related Diseases. Pediatric Research, 61: 38R-42R (subscription required).