Flow Cytometry Programmes


All of these programmes use stabilised blood products. The samples you will receive are stabilised using a patented procedure and will remain stable up to 1 year at between +2 and +8 degrees C. Please store any samples at this temperature until testing but allow the samples to reach ambient temperature before staining.


Because the material is stabilised some minor adjustments may be required to the Forward Scatter (FSc) and Side Scatter (SSc) Photo Multiplier Tube (PMT) voltages. This is normal and does not affect the staining characteristics. Owing to the stabilisation process, the cells are not viable. UK NEQAS LI therefore recommends that viability dyes are either not used or, if used, all cells are included in the viable cells gate. In addition, the stabilisation process allows for haemoglobin to leach out of the red blood cells. As a result of this the samples may have a haemolysed appearance. This is normal and the samples can be tested.


Do not be concerned if the haematology profile on these samples does not give a valid differential. This is due to the stabilisation process. These samples have been developed to give the optimum performance using “flow cytometric” assays and have been used in these EQA programmes for over fifteen years.


****NEW FOR 2024-2025***


As part of the continuous development of our EQA/PT provision we will be introducing several updates to our flow cytometry programmes in 2024-2025.


MRD for Plasma Cell Myeloma by Flow Cytometry
UK NEQAS LI have ongoing issues sourcing patient samples for this programme. If you are able to provide samples, please contact admin@ukneqasli.co.uk and we would be happy to organise consent and shipping. As a result of this 2024/2025 rounds in this programme may be electronic or sample based. 


Changes to flow cytometric MRD programmes

Following the successful redesign of the MRD for Plasma Cell Myeloma and MRD for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia by Flow Cytometry programmes, we will continue to roll these changes out to the other flow cytometry MRD programmes in 2024/25. These changes will include the ability to add and save antibody panels for future use and also capture of additional fluorochrome and clone information to facilitate troubleshooting. 


Changes to Leukaemia Diagnostic Interpretation programme
The uptake of the 5th edition of the World Health Organization Classification of Haematolymphoid Tumours: Myeloid and Histiocytic/Dendritic Neoplasm and the International Consensus Classification of Myeloid Neoplasms and Acute Leukemias: integrating morphologic, clinical, and genomic data are currently being assessed in the Leukaemia Diagnostic Interpretation programme. Pending the findings, changes will be made to the programme to reflect current practice. 


Update to ISO 17043:2023
An update to the ISO 17043 standards, to which EQA/PT providers are accredited, was released in May 2023. There are major new sections on impartiality, risk and information management. EQA/PT providers have a three-year transition window to show compliance to the new standards. UK NEQAS LI are currently performing a gap analysis to identify areas where additional work will be required to demonstrate compliance in 2024/2025. 


* denotes changes to the programme in 2024/2025


Please see programme specific pages on our website for further details.


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Last updated 25/03/2024 © UK NEQAS for Leucocyte Immunophenotyping not to be reproduced in all or part without permission.

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