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Beaumont Laboratory

Diagnostic Flow Cytometry

The Flow Cytometry Laboratory offers a full complement of diagnostic flow studies.

Immunophenotypic evaluations of hematolymphoid malignancies including leukemia, lymphomas, multiple myeloma, and myelodysplasia are offered. The laboratory uses sensitive multiparametric flow cytometry methods to provide semi-quantitative analysis of blood, bone marrow, fresh tissue (e.g., lymph node) suspensions, and body fluids including CSF. Interpretations include the correlation with morphologic hematopathology findings. Sensitivity of detection for most specimens has been validated to 0.1-0.5 percent.

  • CD4 Lymphocyte Subset Levels - Measurement of CD4+ helper T-cell levels is important in the evaluation and monitoring of HIV+ individuals. The laboratory utilizes multiparametric flow cytometric analysis and reports both the CD4 percentage and absolute counts.
  • Immune Status Monitoring - For evaluation of suspected immunodeficiency syndromes, early rejection in organ transplantation, viral infections, and some autoimmune disease, the laboratory uses multiparametric flow cytometry for the enumeration (percentage and absolute count) of currently recognized lymphocyte subsets. CD4 and CD8 cells are evaluated for antigenic evidence of lymphocyte activation.
  • DNA Content/Cell Cycle Measurements - Determinations of DNA ploidy and proliferative are of particular value in hematopoietic neoplasms, particularly acute lymphocytic leukemia of childhood and lymphoma. DNA flow cytometry can be performed on fresh tumor tissue, malignant effusions, or anti-coagulated blood and bone marrow samples. All results are reported with the measured DNA index and complete cell cycle analysis (%G1/G0, %S and %G2/M phases) using one of the most sophisticated computer programs available. Results are correlated with pathologic findings and reported with a medical interpretation when possible.
  • Platelet Associated Antibody Assay - Flow cytometric techniques offer improved sensitivity and specificity over other methods for the measurement of platelet-associated antibodies or immunoglobulins (PIAIg) when two-color techniques are used. This is used in the diagnosis of immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (ITP), therapeutic monitoring of ITP patients, and in the assessment of possible alloimmunization of patients receiving multiple platelet transfusion. Results are reported in a semi-quantitative manner to allow for therapeutic monitoring of individual patients.
  • HLA B27 Screen - Rapid and sensitive screening for the presence of HLA-B27 may be valuable in evaluation of patients with arthritic symptoms, as seen in anklosing spondilitis. Results are reported simply as negative or positive.
  • Fetal Cell Detection - Sensitive detection of fetal red cells in maternal blood samples used for the assessment of feto-maternal hemorrhage. Results are reported as the percentage of red cells.