Can peripheral blood smear examination be totally replaced by automated hematology analyser - with special reference to anemia?

Shivangi Singhal, Nidhi Verma, Monika Rathi, Neha Singh, Preeti Singh, S. P. Sharma, Uma Tayal


Background: The aims and objectives of present study was to correlate typing of anemia based on RBC indices obtained from an automated analyzer with peripheral blood smear (PBS) examination and also to find out whether the number of PBS examination can be reduced with the help of automated hematology analyzer.

Methods: A total of 2500 blood samples showing anemia as per WHO reference range were collected in central pathology lab of SVBP Hospital attached to L.L.R.M. Medical College, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India over a period of one year. Samples were reported by auto-analyzer and PBS examination simultaneously.

Results: Out of total 2500 cases, there were 1623 females (64.9%) and 877 males (35.1%) with male: female ratio 0.54:1. By auto-analyzer and PBS examination, MCHC anemia (49.8%) was the commonest anemia followed by NCNC anemia (36.5%) and Macrocytic anemia (4.2%). Discordant typing of anemia between two methods was found in 284 (11.4%) cases only. These cases were diagnosed as normocytic normochromic (NCNC) anemia with raised RDW by autoanalyzer while as Dimorphic Anemia (DA) on PBS examination. Also morphological changes such as RBC inclusions, spherocytes, RBC fragments, schistocytes, nucleated RBCs were seen only on PBS examination.

Conclusions: The Study concluded that even today PBS examination is very important and cannot be totally replaced by automated analyzer and both methods are complementary to each other.


Automated hematology analyzer, Peripheral blood smear, Examination, Anemia

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