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Int J Infect Dis. 2013 Jul;17(7):e490-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2012.12.002. Epub 2013 Jan 10.

The lymph index: a potential hematological parameter for viral infection.

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  • 1Center of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, 226001, China.



An LH750 hematology analyzer with VCS (volume, conductivity, and light scatter) technology can determine morphologic properties of peripheral leukocytes, known as cell population data (CPD). We have previously demonstrated that the lymphocyte CPD exhibit significant changes in acute hepatitis B virus infection. A simplified lymphocyte CPD, the lymph index, was proposed. We conducted the current study to further evaluate the clinical usefulness of the lymph index, and included patients with various viral infections, as well as those with acute bacterial infections.


Peripheral blood was collected from 72 patients with viral infections, 46 patients with acute bacterial infections, and 204 controls. The lymphocyte CPD included the mean volume (LV) with its standard deviation (LV-SD) and the conductivity (LC). The lymph index was calculated as LV × LV-SD ÷ LC.


The lymph index was significantly increased in viral infections and only mildly increased in acute bacterial infections compared to controls. Using a lymph index cutoff value of ≥ 12.92, we achieved 91.67% sensitivity and 97.2% specificity for diagnosing viral infection.


The findings may be clinically useful since these morphological parameters are readily obtained by hematology analyzer during automated leukocyte differentials. They are quantitative, objective, and fast. The lymph index could be a potential hematological parameter for viral infection.

Copyright © 2012 International Society for Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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