Accurate quantification of disseminated tumor cells in hematological samples is of fundamental importance in clinical oncology. However, even highly standardized protocols allow only a rough estimation of the total analyzed, cell number, as sample processing may have adverse effects on the number of cells available for analysis. The fluorescence-based microscopic scanning system (MetaCyte) detects, counts, captures, and relocates immunolabeled tumor cells in hematopoietic samples. We report on a cell-counting approach that has been implemented into the scanning system to precisely quantify the number of cells per slide. The cell-counting function, which was designed to determine the number of all nucleated (DAPI-stained) cells on the slide, allows an accurate counting of the tumor cells and the total number of cells analyzed in the given microscopic sample. The reliability of the cell-counting approach was demonstrated by the analysis of DAPI-stained images with 18-1,363 nucleated cells. A good correlation (r2 = 0.965) between the manually and automatically gained results was observed. The counting accuracy could even be optimized after implementing a correction factor. To prove or disprove an interslide variation, routine bone marrow cytospin preparations from neuroblastoma patients were immunostained for GD2/FITC and counterstained with DAPI. Automatic cell counting of cytospin preparations from the same patients showed significant differences in the total cell number (up to 67% cell loss during preparation, with a maximum interslide difference of 4.7 × 105 mononuclear cells). We conclude that determination of the tumor cell content in hematopoietic samples is only reliable when it is performed together with accurate cell counting.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Communications in Clinical Cytometry|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 15 2000|
- Rare event detection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology