Results of the flow cytometry ACTG quality control program: Analysis and findings

Helene Paxton, Pamela Kidd, Alan Landay, Janis Giorgi, Neal Flomenberg, Edward Walker, Fred Valentine, John Fahey, Rebecca Gelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The AIDS Clinical Trial Group's (ACTG) Immunology Committee was charged with initiating a quality control program for all laboratories participating in the ACTG program reporting flow cytometry data. Forty-one laboratories were evaluated. This report defines the goals of this program and the subsequent findings after 19 send-outs were made. Both HIV positive volunteer donors and normal age-matched donors were used. Sample sets included both heparin and EDTA anticoagulated bloods. Laboratories were asked to report hematologic parameters as well as flow cytometry data both in percentages and absolute numbers. Results were evaluated using nonparametric statistical analysis. Robust CVs and interquartile ranges were used to define the performance of individual laboratories for each CD subset analyzed. Intralaboratory reproducibility was analyzed by paired sample sets. All laboratories were found to be able to define normal samples as normal. Seventy-five percent of the laboratories were able to define abnormal samples as abnormal. Twenty-five percent could not identify two abnormal samples as abnormal. Forty percent of the labs were found unable to reproduce paired samples within an absolute of ±5%. EDTA was found slightly superior to heparin in bloods evaluated by flow cytometry within 30 hr of collection. The analysis of specific histograms, questionnaires, and data analysis led to a specific set of recommendations for performance of flow cytometry studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-84
Number of pages17
JournalClinical Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Immunology


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