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Flow Cytometry Laboratory

The Flow Cytometry Laboratory performs immunophenotyping, functional analysis, DNA ploidy, and other flow cytometry based clinical assays for the Yale Medical Center as well as for many other institutions. Standard consultative diagnostics in this area involve coordinated "reflex" analysis of a blood, marrow, lymph node, fluid or other specimen. Analysis of specimens begins with a clinical and morphologic review of the case by one of our clinical pathologists. Interpretations are made on the basis of these aspects of the case as well as the flow cytometric findings and often the results of additional molecular and other tests.

Clinical pathologists are available seven days a week via phone to help render appropriate diagnoses for ordering clinicians. The laboratory prides itself on maximizing both quality of care and cost-effectiveness for the patient, providing comprehensive, clinically useful information in the most efficient manner possible. The laboratory continuously explores new techniques.

The Immunology, Flow Cytometry, and Molecular Diagnostics Laboratories form a single administrative unit within the Department of Laboratory Medicine in order to optimize cross-disciplinary diagnostic activities. The Flow Cytometry Laboratory also works closely with the Translational Sciences Immune Monitoring Core Facility and provides training to our residents and fellows, and fellows from other departments, along with serving as part of the advanced diagnostics training for medical technologist students from several universities.

Flow Cytometry Services

Acute Leukemia

Acute Leukemia diagnosis is available with same day turnaround seven days a week (including final diagnostic interpretation by our clinical pathologists). Analysis is carried out in a "reflex marker" approach as appropriate to best subcategorize the disease. Final WHO diagnosis will often include molecular testing as needed. Follow-up minimal residual disease testing can be carried out by flow cytometry criteria as well as by quantitative RT-PCR for common translocations where appropriate (e.g., bcr-abl, 15;17 etc).

Myeloproliferative/Lymphoproliferative Disorders

The laboratory performs analyses for myelodysplasia as well as MPD and LPD. Detection of small monoclonal populations has been an area of interest – now combined with PCR testing in the molecular laboratory.


The laboratory offers quantitative assessment of critical lymphocytes subsets and works with the Immunology laboratory to establish diagnoses in this area. Transplantation associated immunodeficiency is an area of special interest.

Platelet Function

The laboratory has a long-standing interest in evaluating platelet kinetics via reticulated platelet analysis and in use of flow cytometry for functional platelet analysis