FREQUENCY OF WBC FLAGS GENERATED BY AUTOMATED HEMATOLOGY ANALYZER IN DIAGNOSED CASES OF DENGUE INFECTION
Objective: To determine the frequency of WBC flags generated by automated hematology analyzers in cases of dengue diagnosed by serological tests. We also aim to compare the platelet count in the presence of different WBC flags.
Material and Methods:It was a cross sectional study, conducted at Chughtai Institute of Pathology. Total 1007 blood samples of serologically confirmed dengue patients in EDTA vial were obtained over a period of 03 months from September, 2021 to November, 2021. These samples were run through Mindray BC-6800 which displayed flags for white blood cells. WBC flags displayed were analyzed in correlation with findings of CBC and peripheral smear through careful statistical analysis of the observed parameters.
Results: An abnormal WBC flag was displayed in all patients. The most common flag among these was atypical lymphocytes in 671 (66.6%) samples, followed by atypical lymphocytes + basophilia in 136 (13.5%), Atypical lymphocytes + neutropenia in 66 (6.6%), Atypical lymphocytes + lymphocytosis in 47 (4.7%), Atypical lymphocytes + lymphopenia in 31 (3.1%), Lymphopenia in 29 (2.9%), Atypical lymphocytes + monocytosis in 15 (1.5%), Lymphopenia + neutropenia in 9 (0.9%) and Neutropenia in 3 (0.3%) samples.
Conclusion: WBC flags generated by automated hematology analyzer in a suspected dengue patient, especially during dengue epidemics can be used as a screening tool and can help in avoiding unnecessary serological testing.
Key Words: Dengue, NS1 antigen, WBC flags, Automated hematology analyzer.
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