Aligning the flow cytometric evaluation with the diagnostic need: an evidence-based approach

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Abstract

Aims

Elimination of non-value added testing without compromising high-quality clinical care is an important mandate for laboratories in a value-based reimbursement system. The goal of this study was to determine the optimal combination of flow cytometric markers for a screening approach that balances efficiency and accuracy.

Methods

An audit over 9 months of flow cytometric testing was performed, including rereview of all dot plots from positive cases.

Results

Of the 807 cases in which leukaemia/lymphoma testing was performed, 23 were non-diagnostic and 189 represented bronchoalveolar lavage specimens. Of the remaining 595 cases, 137 (23%) were positive for an abnormal haematolymphoid population. Review of the positive cases identified minimum requirements for a screening tube as well as analysis strategies to overcome the diagnostic pitfalls noted. It is estimated that 38% fewer antibodies would be used in a screening approach, representing an opportunity for significant cost savings.

Conclusions

We provide a framework for developing an evidence-based screening combination for cost-effective characterisation of haematolymphoid malignancies, promoting adoption of ‘just-in-time’ testing systems that tailor the evaluation to the diagnostic need.

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