Haematological engraftment was assessed in 804 autologous transplants. Neutrophil recovery occurred in over 99% within 14 d but platelet recovery was delayed beyond this time in 14·8%. Time to recovery was dependent on the progenitor cell dose infused. The minimum CD34+ cell threshold adopted in this study (2 × 106/kg) was safe although recovery was faster with a dose >5 × 106/kg. CD34+ cell doses of between 1 and 2 × 106/kg were also acceptable if either the granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming cell dose exceeded 2 × 105/kg or this dose was due to splitting a higher yield harvest. Prompt neutrophil recovery affords important quality assurance for laboratory processing.