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Examination of peripheral blood films using automated microscopy; evaluation of Diffmaster Octavia and Cellavision DM96
  1. H Ceelie,
  2. R B Dinkelaar,
  3. W van Gelder
  1. Department of Clinical Chemistry, Albert Schweitzer Ziekenhuis, Dordrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
    H Ceelie
    Department of Clinical Chemistry, Geïntegreerd Klinisch Chemisch Laboratorium (GKCL), Albert Schweitzer Ziekenhuis Dordrecht and RIVAS Zorggroep Gorinchem, PO Box 444, 3300AK Dordrecht, The Netherlands;h.ceelie{at}


Background: Differential counting of peripheral blood cells is an important diagnostic tool. Yet, this technique requires highly trained staff, is labour intensive and has limited statistical reliability. A recent development in this field was the introduction of automated peripheral blood differential counting systems. These computerised systems provide an automated morphological analysis of peripheral blood films, including a preclassification of both red and white cells (RBCs and WBCs, respectively).

Aims: To investigate the ability of two automated microscopy systems to examine peripheral blood smears.

Methods: Two automated microscopy systems, the Cellavision Diffmaster Octavia (Octavia) and Cellavision DM96 (DM96), were evaluated.

Results: The overall preclassification accuracy values for the Octavia and the DM96 systems were 87% and 92%, respectively. Evaluation of accuracy (WBC analysis) showed good correlation for both automated systems when compared with manual differentiation. Total analysis time (including post classification) was 5.4 min/slide for the Octavia and 3.2 min/slide for the DM96 (100 WBC/slide) system. The DM96 required even less time than manual differentiation by an experienced biomedical scientist.

Conclusions: The Octavia and the DM96 are automated cell analysis systems capable of morphological classification of RBCs and WBCs in peripheral blood smears. Classification accuracy depends on the type of pathological changes in the blood sample. Both systems operate most effectively in the analysis of non-pathological blood samples.

  • DM96, Cellavision DM96
  • Octavia, Cellavision Diffmaster Octavia
  • RBC, red blood cell
  • SSU, slide scanning unit
  • WBC, white blood cell

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  • Published Online First 12 May 2006

  • Competing interests: None declared.