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September 9, 1983

Quantitative Buffy Coat Analysis

JAMA. 1983;250(10):1272. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340100016010

To the Editor.—  Wardlaw and Levine have recently described a laboratory technique for performing a "screening complete blood cell count" using a special capillary tube (1983;249:617). While this technique may have some utility in a research situation, we do not believe that it offers any advantage over current routine office hematology techniques.1 The presently used techniques allow an office laboratory worker to perform a microhematocrit or hemoglobin determination, platelet and WBC count (by hemocytometer), and an examination of the peripheral smear for red cell morphology and a differential WBC count. All can be done on a single finger stick in about 15 minutes and with no more equipment than a centrifuge, microscope, cell-counting chamber, and a celldilution system. In contrast, the method described by Wardlaw and Levine requires specialized capillary tubes, an incubation device (42 °C), microscope, micrometer, centrifuge, and a fluorescent light source.The described technique seems to