Current practice for selecting donor units for umbilical cord blood transplant (UCBT) involves matching at HLA-A and HLA-B by low-resolution typing and the HLA-DRB1 allele by high-resolution (HR) typing. We retrospectively studied the impact of HR allele matching at HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C, and HLA-DRB1 on transplant-related outcomes in 60 single-unit UCBTs in pediatric patients with malignant and nonmalignant conditions. Five-year overall survival of our cohort was 71% (95% confidence interval, 58-81); 27% experienced primary graft failure. Applying HR typing, donor-recipient mismatch variability increased ranging from 1/8 to 8/8, however, no impact on primary graft failure, graft-versus-host disease or posttransplant infection was observed. UCBTs with >/=6/8 HR matches did have a better overall survival (P=0.04) and decreased transplant-related mortality (P=0.02) compared with <6/8 HR matches. Using standard HLA typing, we showed an increased incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (grade II to IV) and decreased transplant-related mortality in comparing the matched (6/6) versus =5/6 group (P=0.05 and 0.05, respectively). These data support the use of current guidelines for umbilical cord blood selection and encourage utilization of HR typing to select umbilical cord blood units matched at >/=6/8 especially when appropriate >/=5/6 units are available.