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Bone marrow donation

Donació de òssia Vall d'Hebron

Bone marrow donation has several features that differ from conventional blood donation, given that it involves obtaining the stem cells (haematopoietic progenitors) that give rise to the several types of cells in circulating blood, and which will allow the recipient’s bone marrow to be repopulated.

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General Hospital

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Haematopoietic progenitors can be donated in two ways:

1. Peripheral blood: There are very few stem cells in circulating blood (CD34+), which is why it is practically impossible to get enough stem cells for a bone marrow transplant from a donor’s blood. A preparatory procedure is therefore performed beforehand. The donor is administered G-CSF (Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor) in advance, which greatly increases the amount of stem cells circulating in their blood. Stem cells are then obtained from the circulating blood by puncturing two veins; through one the donor’s blood is collected and through the other it is returned. The blood obtained circulates through a cell separator, which, by centrifugation, separates its different components, thus obtaining the repertoire of cells of interest and returning most of the blood back to the donor. The donor can quickly compensate for the cells that have been removed and suffers no risks. The procedure is completely safe for the donor.

2. Bone marrow: this process is currently carried out in only 20% of cases. This method consists in extracting bone-marrow blood from the iliac crests (posterior-superior part of the pelvis) through a few punctures. This process is carried out under a general or epidural anaesthetic and requires 24-hour hospitalisation.

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