Multiple-laboratory comparison of in vitro assays utilized to characterize hematopoietic cells in cord blood

Gary Moroff, Hermann Eichler, Anneke Brand, Riitta Kekomäki, James Kurtz, Magdalena Letowska, Derwood Pamphilon, Elizabeth J. Read, Laura Porretti, Lucilla Lecchi, Jo Anna Reems, Ronald Sacher, Shalini Seetharaman, Tsuneo A. Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Understanding the variability in results obtained by multiple laboratories is important because cord blood units are distributed worldwide for transplantation. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Four exercises were conducted by multiple laboratories to assess assay variability on nucleated cell (NC), mononuclear cell (MNC) by hematology analyzers [HAs], and CD34+ cell (flow cytometry) measurements. Exercise 1 was an intralaboratory exercise in which the reproducibility of cell measurements was determined. Exercises 2 and 3 involved the shipment of identical processed cord blood samples. In Exercise 2, laboratory-specific methods were utilized. In Exercise 3, two commercial CD34+ cell methods (Stem-Kit and TruCOUNT) were used. In Exercise 4, CD34+ cell levels were determined on repetitive regating of identical list-mode files. RESULTS: Intralaboratory reproducibility was highest for NC measurements and lowest for CD34+ cell measurements. In Exercise 2, all laboratories except one utilized HA with an impedance technology and determined comparable results for NC and MNC levels, whereas the other laboratory utilized a HA with an optical counting method. Substantial variation was observed on measuring CD34+ cells with ranges of 32 to 141, 32 to 66, and 25 to 116 CD34+ cells per μL for the three identical samples. In Exercise 3, on the use of one specific commercial assay, the ranges of CD34+ levels were 214 to 411 and 62 to 178 cells per μL for the two identical samples. Nearly all participating laboratories determined comparable CD34+ levels on the use of identical list-mode files. CONCLUSION: These studies indicate that substantial variability in CD34+ cell levels were determined with flow cytometry. The variability in NC and MNC levels was minimal with HA methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-515
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Immunology


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