Flow Cytometry Laboratory

This Laboratory offers state of the art diagnostic services based on multiparameter flow cytometric analysis for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and related hematological disorders.

Since 2011, the laboratory performs analyses on an 8 color instrument, ensuring unprecedented sensitivity of detection and ability to detect abnormal cells even from limited material such as CSF. Over 3000 specimens are analyzed per year for detection of leukemia and lymphoma. CD4 cell counts for HIV patients are also performed. Special studies can be conducted by prior arrangement.

Submitting a specimen

Submit blood, bone marrow, or FNA specimens in heparin tube. Solid tissue samples should be submitted in culture medium. Call the laboratory at(919) 684-2725 to arrange for prepared tubes containing culture medium.

Submit specimens directly to the Flow Cytometry Laboratory (Room 4345, Duke South, Purple Zone). 

Hours of operation

The laboratory accepts samples from 8 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday, and by prior appointment on weekends and holidays.  Please call 919-684-2725 during normal working hours to set up urgent sample processing after hours or weekends.

Clinical Flow Cytometry

Peripheral blood, bone marrow, various body fluids, fine needle aspiration samples, and tissue biopsy samples can be analyzed utilizing flow cytometric techniques. Normal and abnormal cells in these samples are characterized based on the presence or absence of certain molecules on the cell surface or inside the cells. The samples are “stained” with a carefully designed panel of specific antibodies coupled to four different fluorescent dyes. The “stained” cells pass through two laser beams in the ‘FACScaliber’ flow cytometry analyzers and the “molecular signature” of each cell is recorded as the intensity of fluorescence for each of the four colors. Our highly trained and experienced staff of five technologists then perform sophisticated computer analysis of the data acquired on each sample. The final diagnostic interpretation is rendered by a hematopathologist after correlation with morphological findings.

The Flow Cytometry Laboratory is a vital part of our comprehensive approach to the diagnosis of hematological and lymphoid malignancies. A diagnosis is provided based on all available material and additional tests are suggested when necessary. Conversely, when flow cytometric analysis is unlikely to yield useful diagnostic or prognostic information for the patient’s condition, the submitting clinician is so advised. Samples with very limited number of cells are handled to optimize diagnostic information. Recurrent disease and minimal residual disease can be identified accurately as experts in the laboratory correlate clinical findings and previous flow cytometry results.

In 2011 the laboratory performed leukemia / lymphoma phenotype analyses on:

  • 1267 bone marrows
  • 367 blood samples 
  • 195 tissue biopsies
  • 162 fine needle aspirations
  • 263 body fluid including cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

In addition, over 3600 blood samples were analyzed to enumerate the CD4 cells in HIV patients.

A typical analysis of bone marrow involved by Acute Leukemia left panel) compared to a normal bone marrow (right panel) from another patient.

A typical analysis of bone marrow involved by Acute Leukemia left panel) compared to a normal bone marrow (right panel) from another patient.

An apparently normal appearing bone marrow (left panel) is shown to contain a small monoclonal B-cell population (right panel, dark green dots) indicating involvement by lymphoma.

An apparently normal appearing bone marrow (left panel) is shown to contain a small monoclonal B-cell population (right panel, dark green dots) indicating involvement by lymphoma.

 

 

Contacts
Anand S. Lagoo, MD, PhD

Anand S. Lagoo, MD, PhD

Director

DUMC 3712

Durham, NC 27710

Office: 919-668-0921

Fax: 919-684-1856

Email

Kathy Perkinson

Kathy Perkinson

Technical Manager

Molecular Pathology

Department of Pathology

Office: 919-684-5822

Email