Lab Med Online.  2019 Apr;9(2):57-62. 10.3343/lmo.2019.9.2.57.

Evaluation of Time and Temperature Stability of Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria Cells by Flow Cytometry

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


Flow cytometry analysis of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is significantly affected by the methodology used. The lack of data on the effect of age and refrigeration on PNH clone stability motivated us to study these aspects using flow cytometry.
Peripheral blood was collected from six patients, of which two presented with PNH. All samples were tested immediately and stored at room temperature (RT, 20–25℃) and at 4℃ for re-analysis at 24, 48, 72 hr and 7 days. Anti-CD59-fluorescein isothiocyanate (Beckman Coulter, USA) and anti-CD235a-phycoerythrin (PE; Beckman Coulter) were used to stain red blood cells (RBCs). Fluorescein-labeled proaerolysin (Cedarlane, Canada), anti-CD15-PE (Beckman Coulter), anti-CD24-PE-cyanin 5 (Beckman Coulter), and anti-CD45-PE-cyanin 7 (Beckman Coulter) were used to stain granulocytes. Flow cytometry was performed using a FC500 flow cytometer (Beckman Coulter). The effects of time and temperature were analyzed using generalized estimating equations.
No significant differences in the gated percentage of RBCs and PNH clone size of RBCs were observed between the RT and 4℃ groups up to 7 days of testing. The percentage of gated neutrophils decreased with specimen age (P<0.001) and a better correlation with baseline was obtained at 4℃ than at RT (P=0.014). Neutrophil PNH clones were stable until 48 hr and 72 hr at RT and 4℃, respectively, and could not be analyzed at 7 days.
RBC analysis was successfully performed up to 7 days. For neutrophils, testing within 48 hr is recommended, because the number of gated cells decreases significantly with age.


Flow cytometry; Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria; Stability
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