The immunology laboratory supports the CMC Transplant Center as well as diagnostic services using flow cytometry. The immunology laboratory is accredited with the CLIA, the College of American Pathologists and the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI). Certified histocompatibility technologists and medical technologists staff this department, which combines two vital areas of healthcare testing:
A flow cytometer is a laser-based instrument that analyzes thousands of blood cells in less than a minute. Flow cytometry has become a critical component in the diagnosis and treatment of hematopoietic malignancies. Analysis allows subtyping of leukemias and lymphomas, and provides valuable prognostic information. In addition, the flow cytometer performs HLA-B27 typing, CD4/CD8 ratios, DNA content analysis (S-phase and ploidy), paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) analysis (CD55 and CD59) and stem cell quantitation (CD34).
Histocompatibility tests for the genetic material encoded on the sixth chromosome that presents itself as a barrier to transplantation. The lab performs molecular HLA-ABC and DR typings on potential transplant recipients, and living and deceased donors. Recipients are tested for preformed antibodies which may complicate transplantation. Percent reactive antibodies (PRA) are determined by various methods including the flow cytometer and Luminex. Recipients are also crossmatched against potential donors using the flow cytometer and complement dependent cytotoxicity. This HLA matching and immunosuppressive therapy are very important to assure that a patient receives a compatible organ with long term survival.