The ISHAGE guidelines for CD34+ cell determination by flow cytometry. International Society of Hematotherapy and Graft Engineering

J Hematother. 1996 Jun;5(3):213-26. doi: 10.1089/scd.1.1996.5.213.


The increased use of Peripheral Blood Stem Cells (PBSC) to reconstitute hematopoiesis in autotransplant and, more recently, allotransplant settings has not been associated with a consensus means to quality control the PBSC product. Since the small population of cells that bear the CD34 antigen are thought to be responsible for multilineage engraftment, graft assessment by flow cytometric quantitation of CD34+ cells should provide a rapid, reliable, and reproducible assay. Unfortunately, although a number of flow cytometric assays for CD34 enumeration have been described, the lack of a standardized method has led to the generation of widely divergent data. Furthermore, none of these assays has been validated as to interlaboratory reproducibility and suitability for widespread clinical application. In early 1995, the International Society of Hematotherapy and Graft Engineering (ISHAGE) established a Stem Cell Enumeration Committee, the mandate of which was to validate a simple, rapid, and sensitive flow cytometric method to quantitate CD34+ cells in peripheral blood and apheresis products. We also sought to establish its utility on a variety of flow cytometers in clinical laboratories and its reproducibility between transplant centers. Here, we describe the four-parameter flow methodology adopted by ISHAGE for validation in a multicenter study in North America.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD34 / analysis*
  • Flow Cytometry / standards*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / standards*
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Stem Cells / chemistry*


  • Antigens, CD34