Leukocyte immunophenotyping by flow cytometry in a multisite study: standardization, quality control, and normal values in the Transfusion Safety Study. The Transfusion Safety Study Group

Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology
J W ParkerT Odom-Maryon


The Transfusion Safety Study (TSS) is a multicenter, cooperative investigation of factors that may determine the occurrence and modify the expression of transfusion-transmitted infections. A flow cytometry laboratory was established in each of the six participating centers in order to avoid alterations in cell phenotypes which may be caused by shipping delays, temperature changes, and handling. As a consequence, in order to assure compatibility of results, stringent standardization, quality control, and proficiency testing procedures were developed. This paper documents (i) the effect of time from phlebotomy to specimen staining and then to analysis for the antibodies used in the study; (ii) the effects of variations in light scatter cursor location for certain antibodies; (iii) a quality control program and data management and analysis system, each specifically designed for the study; and (iv) presents extensive data on age- and sex-related reference (normal) ranges for the several individual and paired monoclonal antibodies used in the study. Problems encountered, including obtaining reliable absolute lymphocyte counts, interference by nucleated erythrocytes, and sources of variability in results, are discussed. This study is...Continue Reading

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