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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biotechnology - Hematology - Public Health and Epidemiology

Comparison of Venous and Capillary Differential Leukocyte Counts Using a Standard Hematology Analyzer and a Novel Microfluidic Impedance Cytometer
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Author: Veronica S. Hollis et al.

by Veronica S. Hollis, Judith A. Holloway, Scott Harris, Daniel Spencer, Cees van Berkel, Hywel Morgan

Capillary blood sampling has been identified as a potentially suitable technique for use in diagnostic testing of the full blood count (FBC) at the point-of-care (POC), for which a recent need has been highlighted. In this study we assess the accuracy of capillary blood counts and evaluate the potential of a miniaturized cytometer developed for POC testing. Differential leukocyte counts in the normal clinical range from fingerprick (capillary) and venous blood samples were measured and compared using a standard hematology analyzer. The accuracy of our novel microfluidic impedance cytometer (MIC) was then tested by comparing same-site measurements to those obtained with the standard analyzer. The concordance between measurements of fingerprick and venous blood samples using the standard hematology analyzer was high, with no clinically relevant differences observed between the mean differential leukocyte counts. Concordance data between the MIC and the standard analyzer on same-site measurements presented significantly lower leukocyte counts determined by the MIC. This systematic undercount was consistent across the measured (normal) concentration range, suggesting that an internal correction factor could be applied. Differential leukocyte counts obtained from fingerprick samples accurately reflect those from venous blood, which confirms the potential of capillary blood sampling for POC testing of the FBC. Furthermore, the MIC device demonstrated here presents a realistic technology for the future development of FBC and related tests for use at the site of patient care.