Effect of Immune‐Mediated Erythrocyte Agglutination on Analysis of Canine Blood Using a Multichannel Blood Cell Counting System

Robert E. Porter, M. Glade Weiser

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Blood from six dogs with in vitro immune‐mediated erythrocyte agglutination resulted in analytical errors in directly measured counting and sizing functions on a multichannel blood analysis system with histogram capability. Errors in the directly measured values, mean cell volume (MCV), and erythrocyte count were attributed to agglutinated erythrocyte particles that persisted during the relatively short reagent contact time of the analysis. Agglutinated particles less than 240 fl were visible on erythrocyte histograms and resulted in a false low erythrocyte count and false high MCV. Agglutinated cell particles greater than 240 fl were not present on the histogram scale. Because these latter particles exceeded the upper threshold, they did not influence determination of MCV, but resulted in a further decrease in the erythrocyte count. As a result, the other dependent erythrocyte indices were in error. These included false low hematocrit and false high mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), when compared to corrected reference blood values. Similar errors occurred when analyzing blood samples that were agglutinated in vitro by incubating erythrocytes with incompatible plasma. The counting and sizing errors observed with electronic counting techniques were eliminated or greatly reduced by incubating blood in cell counting diluent for 10 minutes followed by analysis on a single channel counter with attached particle size analyzer. Error in erythrocyte measurement on a multichannel system may be anticipated if there is overt erythrocyte agglutination in a blood sample, an abnormally high MCHC is reported by the system, or subpopulations of large volume (agglutinated cells) are observed on a volume distribution histogram.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1990


  • erythrocyte agglutination
  • multichannel blood cell counting system


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