Clinical Flow Cytometry Laboratory

Evaluations for the work-up of possible leukemias or lymphomas can be performed on fresh tissue biopsies ranging from whole lymph nodes to tissue cores from fine needle aspirates, bone marrow aspirates (or if necessary biopsies), peripheral blood or body fluids. Each report includes a hematopathologist’s interpretation and is faxed as soon as it is signed out. Telephone communication is encouraged and we are always prepared to discuss diagnostic dilemmas. Lymph node samples include a basic diagnostic evaluation. Cases of suspected lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukemia are now studied using 3-color flow cytometry to maximize information and minimize the number of cells required. In addition to diagnostic information, prognostic information such as CD38 expression in B-CLL can be obtained. Studies of suspected acute leukemias routinely include 3-color analyses of surface antigens and also analysis of cytoplasmic antigens and nuclear TdT. Cytoplasmic myeloperoxidase and CD3 are two of the most specific antigens useful as aids in the identification of myeloid and T cell lineages, respectively. 4-color flow cytometry is being developed. Flow cytometric evaluation is also performed to evaluate possible cases of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinurea (PNH), to follow patients on Rituximab® , and to look for antigen expression that is important in the use of varied monoclonal antibody therapies (e.g. anti-CD33).

All T-cell subset testing/CD4 counts (T helper: T suppressor ratios) are performed according to the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. State of the art 4-color single platform testing is performed. Currently, reports include relative and absolute values for CD4cells, total T-cells, B-cells and natural killer cells. More limited testing can be performed if requested.

The flow cytometry laboratory is open weekdays, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Please call prior to sending specimens so that we can ensure your sample arrives safely. Arrangements for handling any late afternoon or evening specimens can also be made. Immunophenotypic testing can also be performed on Saturdays or some holidays (see Test Specifications) from 9 am to 1 pm by arrangement with the hematopathologist who is on call (412-647-2345).

If you have any questions, or if there is any way in which we can help you, please feel free to call : Dr. Fiona Craig (Director, Flow Cytometry Laboratory; 412-647-0382), Ms. Judith Bright (Supervisor, 412-624-2167), Ms. Karen Freilino (Lead Technologist; 412-624-2746) or Dr. Steven H. Swerdlow , Director, Division of Hematopathology (412-647-5191).

We would also be happy to discuss the other hematologic tests we offer such as cytochemical/immunocytochemical stains or our complete bone marrow and solid tissue hematopathology consultation services. We are also able to forward portions of samples to the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory ( Dr. M. DeFrances, Interim Director) for any molecular testing desired or to the Pittsburgh Cytogenetics Laboratory located at UPMC Magee Women's Hospital (Dr. Surti, Director) for any cytogenetic tests you may wish to order.

Steven H. Swerdlow, MD
Director, Division of Hematopathology
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Room C606 Presbyterian
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2582

Phone: 412-647-5191
Fax: 412-647-4008
Email: swerdlowsh@upmc.edu

Ralph Nauman
Administrative Director, UPMC Specialty Laboratories
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Central Laboratory Services, Inc.; Room 5938 MT
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2582

Phone: 412-647-6518
Fax: 412-647-8567
Email: naumanra@upmc.edu