Erroneously elevated immature reticulocyte counts in leukemic patients determined using a Sysmex XE-2100 hematology analyzer

Jungwon Huh; Heewon Moon; Whasoon Chung
October 2007
Annals of Hematology;Oct2007, Vol. 86 Issue 10, p759
Academic Journal
The immature reticulocyte fraction (IRF) in peripheral blood, as determined by automated reticulocyte analysis, is calculated using the sum of medium and highly fluorescent reticulocyte numbers and provides information about erythropoietic activity in bone marrow. The purpose of this study was to investigate erroneously elevated IRF in leukemic patients, as determined using a Sysmex XE-2100 hematology analyzer (Sysmex, Kobe, Japan). Normal reticulocyte scattergram patterns show regions corresponding to reticulocytes located between matured RBCs and an upper particle (UPP) region, which show a continuum of non-separated fraction. The UPP represents erythroblasts and some immature reticulocytes. As a control group, peripheral blood was taken from patients with benign hematologic diseases, and their reticulocyte scattergrams all showed a normal pattern; UPP values were all less than 100. However, the reticulocyte scattergrams of 5 of 11 leukemia patients showed abnormal patterns and displayed a gap between RBC and reticulocyte regions. Three patients showed a flag with a message such as “RET Abn Scattergram”. IRF results were elevated in these five patients, and their UPP values were above 100. For the remaining six leukemia patients with a normal reticulocyte scattergram pattern, immature reticulocytes were not markedly increased, and UPP values were less than 100. The findings of the present study demonstrate that IRF results may be erroneously elevated in leukemia patients and indicate that hematologists should examine reticulocyte scattergrams and UPP values carefully.


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