Flow cytometry immunophenotypic analysis plays an important role in the diagnosis, classification, and disease monitoring of hematologic neoplasms. The interpretation of flow cytometry testing can be challenging.


To explore ways to improve diagnostic accuracy and in turn enhance the quality of patient care.


A flow cytometry quality assurance (QA) program was developed. Cases from various complex flow cytometry panels were randomly selected and cross-reviewed. The outcomes of the QA review were categorized into 3 groups: complete agreement, minor discrepancy, and major discrepancy. Each discrepancy underwent a process of documentation, discussion, and resolution. Here we summarize our 3 years of experience with this program.


In total, 6166 cases were evaluated; 6028 cases (97.7%) showed complete concordance, 120 cases (2.0%) showed minor discrepancies, and 18 cases (0.3%) showed major discrepancies. Among the top 5 panels evaluated, the panel evaluating mature T-cell abnormalities showed the highest rate of discrepancy, whereas the panel for evaluation of myelodysplastic syndromes showed the lowest discrepancy rate. When analyzing the trends of concordance and discrepancy over time, we observed a statistically significant decrease in discrepancy rate over time, from 4% at the beginning of the 6-month period to 1.5% in the final 6-month period.


The overall concordance rate was 97.7%. The remaining 2.3% of cases showed discrepancies that required a correction, underscoring the value and necessity of having a QA program. The overall discrepancy rates exhibited a gradual decline over time, indicative of the positive impact of the QA program on enhancing diagnostic competency and accuracy over time.

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Competing Interests

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.