Discriminant analysis of macrocytic red cells

L S Harkins, J M Sirel, P J McKay, R C Wylie, D M Titterington, R M Rowan
Clinical and Laboratory Haematology 1994, 16 (3): 225-34
Laboratory classification of red cell disorders uses the red cell indices (MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW) and information gleaned from microscopic evaluation of a blood film. Additional red cell information is now available using the H series of automated blood cell analysers (Ames Technicon Division of Bayer Diagnostics). This study involved the development of a discriminant rule which would differentiate between three causes of macrocytosis (vitamin B12/folate deficiency, alcohol excess/liver disease and a reticulocytosis) using the information available on Research Screen 1 and Report Screen 3 of the H*1 instrument (Report Screen 3 is a graphical display of the trimmed scattergram of red cell volume and red cell haemoglobin concentration and Research Screen 1 displays the associated numerical data). Three methods of analysis were assessed to define a suitable discriminant rule. The percentages of patients correctly classified by the three methods were: 92.1%, 82.0% and 89.2% for Methods 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Method 1 involved the application of quadratic discrimination to transformed variables and produced the best results. Although complex, it could easily be applied using the microprocessor capability of the average multiparameter haematology analyser.

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