Cord blood transplant requires less stringent human leukocyte antigen matching than unrelated donors. In 133 patients with hematologic malignancies who engrafted after double cord blood transplantation with a dominant unit, we studied the effect of high resolution testing at 4 loci (-A, -B, -C, -DRB1) for its impact on 2-year transplant-related mortality. Ten percent of the dominant cord blood units were matched at 7-8/8 alleles using HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1; 25% were matched at 6/8, 40% at 5/8, and 25% at 4/8 or less allele. High resolution typing at 4 loci showed that there was no 2-year transplant-related mortality in 7-8/8 matched patients. Patients with 5-6/8 matched dominant cord blood units had 2-year transplant-related mortality of 39% while patients with 4/8 or less matched units had 60%. Multivariate regression analyses confirmed the independent effect of high resolution typing on the outcome when adjusted for age, diagnosis, CD34+ cell dose infused, graft manipulation and cord to cord matching. The worst prognostic group included patients aged over 32 years with 4/8 or less matched cord blood units compared with patients who were either younger than 32 years old independent of allele-level matching, or aged over 32 years but with 5-6/8 matched cord blood units (Hazard Ratio 2.2; 95% confidence interval: 1.3-3.7; P<0.001). Patients with 7-8/8 matched units remained the group with the best prognosis. Our data suggest that high resolution typing at 4 loci and selecting cord blood units matched at at least 5/8 alleles may reduce transplantrelated mortality after double cord blood transplantation.