Validation and implementation of an algorithm for reporting the automated absolute neutrophil count from selected flagged specimens

Am J Clin Pathol. 2010 Nov;134(5):720-5. doi: 10.1309/AJCP9PEDYQMFGMA3.


Samples that are flagged by automated cell counters and, therefore, require a time-consuming microscopic review cause unacceptable wait times for patients in hematology/oncology clinics. We used a set of 518 samples to validate that 5 flags on Sysmex XE/XT instruments (Sysmex, Kobe, Japan) could safely be ignored when the absolute neutrophil count (ANC) was the primary clinical question. The R(2) between automated and manual ANCs was 96.9% for samples triggering non-ANC flags, with 1 clinically significant discrepant sample out of 296 (0.3%). A new test code allowing clinicians to specify "ANC-only" was implemented, and these non-ANC specific flags were disregarded. The new order set was used in 16.3% of patients. Automated reporting of the ANC in selected flagged samples reduced the review rate by 60% and decreased the turnaround time by 100 minutes. This approach to automatically report the ANC in selected flagged specimens in which the ANC is the primary clinical interest safely decreases the turnaround time for many ANC samples.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count / instrumentation
  • Leukocyte Count / methods*
  • Neutrophils / cytology*