How is flow cytometry used to diagnose paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH)?

Updated: May 20, 2021
  • Author: Emmanuel C Besa, MD; Chief Editor: Sara J Grethlein, MD, FACP  more...
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Answer

The use of flow cytometry in PNH differs from many applications in that the diagnosis depends upon demonstrating the absence of relevant antigens. In this context, it is important that at least two glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI)–linked antigens are studied to exclude rare congenital deficiencies of single antigens (CD55 and CD59) and polymorphism with individual antigens (CD16), which render them undetectable by some monoclonal antibody clones.


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