Automated Analysis of Clinical Flow Cytometry Data: A Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Illustration
Scheuermann RH, Bui J, Wang HY, Qian Y
Flow cytometry is used in cell-based diagnostic evaluation for blood-borne malignancies including leukemia and lymphoma. The current practice for cytometry data analysis relies on manual gating to identify cell subsets in complex mixtures, which is subjective, labor-intensive, and poorly reproducible. This article reviews recent efforts to develop, validate, and disseminate automated computational methods and pipelines for cytometry data analysis that could help overcome the limitations of manual analysis and provide for efficient and data-driven diagnostic applications. It demonstrates the performance of an optimized computational pipeline in a pilot study of chronic lymphocytic leukemia data from the authors' clinical diagnostic laboratory.