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Cytometry. 1998 Nov 1;33(3):310-7.

Evaluation of a flow cytometric method for simultaneous leukocyte phenotyping and quantification by fluorescent microspheres.

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Institute of Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, University of Luebeck School of Medicine, Germany.


We describe a flow cytometric method using a newly designed product, fluorochrome-containing microspheres (Flow Count fluorospheres), which facilitates the precise quantification of cells in whole blood samples or heterogeneous cell suspensions on a single-cell level. These microparticles are easily distinguishable from other events of interest and can be detected by their light-scattering and fluorescence properties. In contrast to the traditional manual or automated cell-counting techniques, this method offers the opportunity to quantify cells simultaneously with flow cytometric immunophenotyping without additional cell loss or other cell preparation steps. We evaluated the accuracy and reproducibility of this flow cytometric method on the determination of CD45+ leukocyte counts and compared the results with those obtained by conventional techniques. Particular interest was focused on the behavior of cells and fluorospheres regarding their sedimentation rate over the period of analysis. The data from 48 blood samples with low, normal, and high leukocyte counts confirmed the reliability and comparability of the flow cytometric method, permitting the determination of white blood cell concentration at least to a limit of 100 cells/microL. A broad field of applications will benefit from this flow cytometric supplement because it is easy to perform and highly accurate. The results appear to be transferable to clinical decision-making monitoring of CD4+ lymphocytes in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus or of CD34+ hematopoietic cells, optimizing the harvest for peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.

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