Introduction Differential counting and morphological analysis of peripheral blood smears is of great diagnostic importance to the clinician. For economic and time-saving reasons, automated imaging processes have been successfully introduced over the years. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a new morphology system, the CellaVision Image Capture System (CICS), can be used to perform a white blood cell (WBC) differential on peripheral blood smears.
Methods WBCs in 200 peripheral blood smears were analysed with the CICS method and compared with the DM96 method to establish accuracy, short-term imprecision and clinical sensitivity and specificity for morphology. For establishing long-term imprecision, two blood smears were analysed for 20 days with the CICS method.
Results Evaluation of accuracy in 199 samples demonstrated a good correlation for the CICS when compared with the postclassification on the DM96. Regression coefficients ranged from 0.97 for monocyte counts to 0.99 for neutrophil counts. All regression lines showed slopes with 1 and intercepts with 0 within the 95% CI. Long-term imprecision was less than 5% for neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes and monocytes. Comparison of the short-term imprecision demonstrated that the SD did not differ by more than 1.1% between the DM96 method and the CICS method. Clinical sensitivity of the CICS was 93.5% and specificity was 97.8%. Specificity and sensitivity for blasts was 100%.
Conclusions The CICS has proven to be a reliable and accurate tool in the differential WBC count on peripheral blood smears and provides small laboratories with a 24 h available real-time digital differential WBC count on peripheral blood smears and consultation for patients in remote locations.