Background: Cell population data (CPD) are leukocyte morphologic parameters, measured by automated hematology analyzers with VCS technology. Many studies have demonstrated that these parameters may have clinical utility for diagnosing or screening certain pathological conditions. This study is to investigate the effects of peripheral blood stored at room temperature on the CPD values and provide useful information about storage-induced CPD changes.
Methods: Venous blood samples from healthy donors kept at room temperature (18 - 25°C) for different time intervals were analyzed using a Coulter DxH800 hematology analyzer. The CPD data collected included mean cellular volume, conductivity and multiple angles of light scatters as well as their corresponding standard deviation for neutrophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes. Peripheral blood smears at each time interval were also prepared and examined microscopically.
Results: Peripheral blood kept at room temperature over time significantly affects the CPD values for neutrophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes. These CPD changes are correlated with the morphologic alterations observed under light microcopy, but detected much earlier. Some changes imitate clinical pathological conditions. For example, aged neutrophils showed decreased median angle light scatters, suggesting cytoplasmic degranulation, which can be seen in the case of myelodysplastic syndrome.
Conclusions: This study provides valuable information about storage-induced CPD changes that can affect potential clinical application and interpretation of these automated digital morphologic parameters.