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Know Everything About Flow Cytometry Test

The Flow Cytometry test is a specialized technique for the detection and analysis of chemical and physical attributes of particles and cells via lasers. It is used commonly for the evaluation of peripheral blood, other body fluids and the bone marrow. The Flow Cytometry blood test cost is usually around Rs. 1,000-2,500 depending on the test type, location, and other factors.

Know Everything About Flow Cytometry Test

Throughout the entire procedure, a sample of either particles or cells will be suspended within fluid before injection into the flow cytometer machine. Roughly 10,000 cells may be processed and analyzed by a computer within one minute or even less.

Test Summary

Name of the Test  Flow Cytometry 
Purpose Cell Counting, Sorting, Function Determination, Characteristics’ Determination, Microorganism Detection, Biomarker Detection, Treatment and Diagnosis of Bone Marrow and Blood Cancers
Why is it needed  For characterization and counting of white blood cell types while analyzing infectious ailments, immuno-deficiencies and auto-immune disorders 
Types Multicolor Flow Cytometry and Flow Cytometry Gating 
Cost Rs. 1,000-2,500 


What is the Use of a Flow Cytometry Test?

The Flow Cytometry test is used for researching various objectives including the sorting and counting of cells, determination of cell characteristics and functions and also the detection of micro-organisms like fungus, bacteria or yeast. It is also used for discovering biomarkers and the diagnosis and possible treatment of bone marrow and blood cancer. 

When is the Flow Cytometry Test Required? 

The test is absolutely necessary when there is need for identification, characterization and counting the types of WBCs (white blood cells) while analyzing infectious ailments, immuno-deficiencies and auto-immune ailments. It is also useful in the diagnosis and classification of lymphoma or leukemia. Flow Cytometry is usually done as a follow-up testing procedure post the CBC/WBC (complete blood count or white blood cell) scan. This is truer in case the initial testing procedure demonstrated a higher lymphocyte count or abnormal counts of cells or even immature blood cells being present. 

Doctors usually make use of Flow Cytometry for the prediction of the cancer type in question, how serious it is going to be and also for working out whether it may respond to specific treatment types. It may also help in knowing whether the disease has returned after previous treatment. Flow Cytometry may be necessary whenever the doctor requires information about body cells. The test may also help in checking immune cell counts, cell cycles and their statuses, DNA analysis and so on. 

Who does a Flow Cytometry test? 

Flow Cytometry is done by a pathologist or lab technician. The test requires a bone marrow, blood, tissue or body fluid sample. 

What is the Flow Cytometry test procedure? 

The sample will be put into the suspension before its injection into the specialized flow cytometer equipment. The cells will be arranged as required before being put before the laser beam, and fluorescent, and scattered light. They will thereafter be categorized and counted accordingly. Data will remain stored on the computer before reporting via the dot plot or histogram. 

Types of Flow Cytometry Test Procedures

The multicolor Flow Cytometry procedure has various cell types being tested simultaneously, i.e., tissue or blood cells together for instance. Fluorescent dye is used for marking particular types of cells. The machine will sort the cells by their color and their type. 

There is another procedure known as Flow Cytometry Gating. This is a key principle which indicates the procedure of refining and identifying any particular population of cells. This is accomplished through the selection of any particular zone on the chart generated by the computer. It helps in informing the machine about the cells to be analyzed and the ones which are not required for analysis anymore. 

Preparation and Other Risk Aspects

Unless there are any recommendations from the doctor, people do not usually require any specific type of preparation before taking this test. They only have to go to their doctor’s office for depositing the sample. 

After the test, the results will be analyzed by the doctor before interpreting them to the patient. There are no risks known for these testing procedures as of yet. 

Understanding the Test Results

The pathologist or doctor will analyze and decode the results of the test. The findings will be given in the lab report as well. The analysis results will be taken in conjunction with the patient’s symptoms, medical history and physical testing results.

The doctor will check the antigens or markers on the cells. Healthy cells will always have antigen patterns syncing with the maturity or type of the cell in question. Abnormal cells will demonstrate varying patterns, indicating diseases such as lymphoma or leukemia. The results may be abnormal in case of Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas, multiple myelomas, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. 


The doctor will talk about the test results extensively with patients and thereafter discuss the options for treatment. The flow cytometry test will indicate the condition of the patient and the likelihood of the success of any particular or ongoing treatment and relapses. This test will help the doctor plan out the treatment process even better. 


What is shown by the Flow Cytometry test? 

The Flow Cytometry Test helps in identifying the cell types in the blood or bone marrow sample. It indicates the presence of any cancer cells or other cell types as well. It helps in finding the cancer cells of various types, based on some crucial protein markers or antigens on their surface.

Why would a doctor prescribe a Flow Cytometry?

The Flow Cytometry Test is prescribed by doctors for diagnosing and treating cancer. It is also helpful in examining the health of any patient after an organ transplant procedure. The Flow Cytometry technique is useful since it may be used for viewing a large number of cells one by one. 

How long does a Flow Cytometry test take?

There is always a specific duration of this type of testing procedure. The usual timeline is within 1-3 days for getting the results. The testing procedure itself is simple and does not take much time. You should keep this in mind. 

Is Flow Cytometry cheap?

Flow Cytometry is one of the most reliable tests for identification of cancer cells and also for tracking CD4 T lymphocytes as well. Yet, this technique is always a costly affair, necessitating premium equipment and trained people for performing the same alongside. 

Is Flow Cytometry accurate?

The Flow Cytometry test is highly accurate on several parameters. Diagnostic accuracy stands at 88.4% as per reports. Sensitivity figures stand at roughly 85.8% while specificity figures stand at 92.9%. The test is overall accurate according to doctors and experts. 

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