Fetal tissue collection from spontaneous abortions: a report from a single centre.


Due to immunological immaturity, the fetus is the ideal recipient as well as donor of haemopoietic stem cells (HSCs); thus intrauterine therapy may prove to be effective in all major haemopoietic disorders when early prenatal diagnosis is available. In man, "fetus-to-fetus" transplantation has demonstrated the possibility of grafting donor HSCs and reconstituting immunodeficient fetuses. The limitations of fetal tissue use for transplantation derive from the origin of tissues from elective abortions. Early and late live spontaneous abortions may constitute an alternative to elective abortions, but are widely considered as unsuitable for fetal tissue collection because of rapid loss of viability and/or infections. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the number of live abortions in a population of women who underwent spontaneous abortion in a single centre. In a 19-month period, 9 spontaneous abortions alive at the moment of delivery and 8 with a heart beat at the last ultrasound scan before abortion were recorded. In 1 case, fetal liver (FL) harvesting was easily performed and the tissue was cryopreserved, subsequently thawed and injected into a monkey fetus. This case shows the feasibility of this approach. The majority of cases reviewed consisted of late abortions. These findings clearly show that fetal tissue collection from spontaneous abortions is feasible for research purposes, for postnatal FL transplantation and for intrauterine transplantation, postnatal FL transplantation and for intrauterine transplantation, provided that depletion of more mature cells is performed when FL of later gestational age are used.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


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