Guidelines on the use of multicolour flow cytometry in the diagnosis of haematological neoplasms

Significant technical advances have taken place in the field of flow cytometry (FC) since 2002, when the BSCH last published FC guidelines. Cytometers with three or more lasers are now common in routine clinical practice and the number of commercially available fluorochromes has increased rapidly. This enables the simultaneous analysis of eight or more antigens, so-called multicolour (or polychromatic) flow cytometry (MFC). In addition, modern cytometers analyse larger numbers of cells in a shorter time, and new software is changing the way data is or can be analysed. This new level of complexity demands specialist knowledge and technical expertise if it is to yield accurate and reproducible results (Sewell & Smith, 2011).  

Application of MFC affects nearly all areas of clinical FC practice, including instrument optimization, quality control (QC), panel design, sample preparation, analysis and interpretation, reporting, and training. The aim of this document is to provide healthcare professionals with clear guidance on the use of MFC for leukaemia and lymphoma immunophenotyping of peripheral blood (PB), bone marrow (BM), body fluids and tissue specimens.

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