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The Use of Blood Controls


Low level leucocyte counting: a critical variable in the validation of leucodepleted blood transfusion components as highlighted by an external quality assurance study


D. Barnett, K. Goodfellow, J. Ginnever, V. Granger, L. Whitby & J.T. Reilly


Clinical Laboratory Haematology (2001) 23: 43-51

Leucocyte counts of <5 x 106 per blood transfusion product are currently recommended in the UK in order to reduce transfusion related infections and febrile reactions. Routine leucocyte depletion requires the development of reliable internal and external quality assurance programmes. A stabilised low leucocyte blood control manufactured by UK NEQAS was used to determine inter and intra laboratory CVs. The study highlighted the variability in low level leucocyte counting, especially within the critical range of 5-30 cells/ul. The results highlighted the need for a standardised protocol and nuclear staining reagent for the routine validation of leucocyte depleted blood products.


Reduction of intra and inter laboratory variation in CD34+ stem cell enumeration using stable test material, standard protocols and targeted training


D.Barnett, V.Granger, J.Kraan, J.T.Reilly, S.Papa & J.W.Gratama


British Journal of Haematology (2000) 108: 784-792

The European Working Group on Clinical Cell Analysis has developed a single platform flow cytometric protocol for the enumeration of CD34+ stem cells. A standard protocol was used over 24 clinical sites together using a CD34+ stabilised whole blood control. The use of a common standardisation protocol and targeted training significantly reduced intra and inter laboratory CD34+ cell count variation.

Standardization of lymphocyte antibody binding capacity a multi centre study


D.Barnett, I.Storie, V.Granger, L.Whitbey, J.T.Reilly, S.Brough, S.Garner, J.Lawry, S.Richards, A.E.Bell and B.K.Shenton


Clinical Laboratory Haematology (2000) 22: 89-96

Quantitative flow cytometry is increasingly being used to characterise non-malignant and malignant disorders, inter and intra laboratory standardisation becomes an important issue. However the lack of standardisation methods and process controls with defined antibody binding values, limits direct comparison. The study showed that a standard protocol is required to achieve low CVs. Also that stable whole blood can be used as a process control with defined antibody binding capacity values.


Absolute CD4+ T-lymphocyte and CD34+ stem cell counts by single platform flow cytometry: the way forward


D. Barnett, V.Granger, L.Whitby, I.Storie and J.T.Reilly


British Journal of Haematology (1999) 106: 1059-1062

Stabilised blood controls for CD34 and CD4 were distributed to 280 laboratories worldwide, every 2 months for a year for absolute cell counts. Results were correlated by UK NEQAS. The study showed that the single-platform approach produced consistently lower inter laboratory CVs for both CD4+ and CD34+ enumeration. Furthermore such technology is likely to prove the method of choice for the quality control of leucodepleted blood products.


Quality assessment of CD34+ stem cell enumeration: experience of the United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment scheme (UK NEQAS) using a unique stable whole blood preparation


D.Barnett, V.Granger, I.storie, J.Peel, R.Pollitt, T.Smart and J.T.Reilly


British Journal of Haematology (1998) 102: 553-565

CD34+ peripheral blood stem cell mobilisation and harvesting has replaced autologous bone marrow as a source of stem cells for transplantation. Timing and adequacy of harvests rely upon the accurate enumeration of circulating CD34+ cells. Previous EQA schemes reported inter-laboratory CVs as high as 284%. A novel stabilised whole blood preparation was distributed to 91 laboratories in 21 countries and participants were required to determine the percentage and absolute values for CD34+ peripheral blood stem cells. Using this method inter-laboratory CVs were reduced as low as 22% for both percentage and absolute counts.


Evaluation of a novel stable whole blood quality control material for lymphocyte subset analysis: Results from the UK NEQAS immune monitoring scheme


D. Barnett, V.Granger, P.Mayr, I.Storie, G.A.Wilson and J.T.Reilly


Cytometry (Clinical Cytometry) (1996) 26: 216-222

The suitability of a novel stable whole blood preparation for use as both daily and longitudinal quality control was demonstrated through the UK NEQAS Immune Monitoring scheme. The stabilisation procedure ensures retention of leucocyte light scatter and immunological staining characteristics for up to 300 days. The preparation is also fully compatible with flow cytometer technology, incorporating either whole blood lysis or no wash, no lyse techniques. The ranges of inter-laboratory CVs of the stabilised control were better than those previously obtained with fresh whole blood.

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