Automated hematology analyzers generate accurate complete blood counts (CBC) results on nearly all specimens. However, every laboratory encounters, at times, some specimens that yield no or inaccurate result(s) for one or more CBC parameters even when the analyzer is functioning properly and the manufacturer's instructions are followed to the letter. Inaccurate results, which may adversely affect patient care, are clinically unreliable and require the attention of laboratory professionals. Laboratory professionals must recognize unreliable results, determine the possible cause(s), and be acquainted with the ways to obtain reliable results on such specimens. We present a concise overview of the known causes of unreliable automated CBC results, ways to recognize them, and means commonly utilized to obtain reliable results. Some examples of unreliable automated CBC results are also illustrated. Pertinent analyzer-specific information can be found in the manufacturers' operating manuals.
Recommended CitationGulati, Gene; Uppal, Guldeep; and Gong, Jerald Z., "Unreliable Automated Complete Blood Count Results: Causes, Recognition, and Resolution" (2022). Department of Pathology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology Faculty Papers. Paper 361.
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