Evaluation of biologic sources of variation of leukocyte counts and other hematologic quantities using very precise automated analyzers

Am J Clin Pathol. 1978 Jan;69(1):48-54. doi: 10.1093/ajcp/69.1.48.


The authors determined mean day-to-day (daily over five days), mean week-to-week (weekly over five weeks) and mean hour-to-hour (800 h, 1100 h, 1400 h) physiologic intra-individual variation of concentration values of leukocyte cell types, platelet count, and erythrocyte values (hematocrit, hemoglobin) for a group of 20 healthy adult volunteers. Total leukocyte counts and concentration values of leukocyte cell types were determined in duplicate on the Hemalong-DTM Automated Leukocyte Differential Cell Counter to minimize analytic variation. The data sets were analyzed according to an analysis of variance model. The mean physiologic hour-to-hour and week-to-week intra-individual variations in terms of % coefficient of variation included: hemoglobin, 2.5, 2.2; hematocrit, 2.6, 2.7; platelets, 1.6, 6.6; total leukocyte count, 9.4, 15.7; neutrophils, 12.9, 26.0; lymphocytes, 10.3, 13.2; monocytes, 18.6, 19.3; eosinophils, 19.9, 26.9; basophils, 7.4, 15.0; large unstained cells, 13.7, 16.0; "high-peroxidase" cells, 32.7, 25.7. Hour-to-hour variation was partitioned into random diurnal variation, group-consistent diurnal variation, and subject-specific unique individual variation. Subject-specific diurnal variation contributed greatly and statistically significantly to total diurnal variation for many of the leukocyte cell types--especially in the case of eosinophils, where it represented more than half of total diurnal variation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autoanalysis
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Female
  • Hematocrit
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Hemoglobins