YKL-40, also called chitinase-3-like-1 protein, is an inflammatory biomarker that has been associated with disease severity in inflammatory and malignant diseases, including AML, multiple myeloma and lymphomas. The objective of the current study was to assess the prognostic value of pretransplant recipient and donor plasma YKL-40 concentrations in patients with AML (n=624) or myelodysplastic syndrome (n=157) treated with allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). In recipients, the plasma YKL-40 concentrations were increased when the HCT-comorbidity index was ≥5 (P=0.028). There were no significant associations between plasma YKL-40 concentrations in recipients and any outcome measures. In donors with YKL-40 plasma concentrations above the age-adjusted 95th percentile, a trend toward increased grade II-IV acute GvHD in recipients was observed (adjusted hazard ratio 1.39 (95% confidence interval 1.00-1.94), P=0.050), with no significant associations with overall survival, treatment-related mortality or relapse. In conclusion, our study shows that YKL-40 does not aid risk stratification of patients undergoing allogeneic HCT, but suggests that YKL-40 may aid donor selection when multiple, otherwise equal, donors are available.