Wiley, Cytometry Part B: Clinical Cytometry, 4(86), p. 272-279, 2013
Flow cytometry is a sensitive method for detection of leptomeningeal localizations of hematological malignancies (LHM) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Rapid processing of CSF is needed, as leukocyte numbers appear to decline quickly after lumbar puncture. The cell-stabilizing agent TransFix™ may enhance the detection of LHM in CSF by preventing cellular loss. To study the effects of TransFix on leukocyte numbers and the detection of LHM, we prospectively collected 99 CSF samples from patients with suspected or proven LHM in tubes with (i) TransFix; (ii) serum-containing medium; and (iii) no cell-stabilizing agents (native CSF). Presence of LHM and absolute leukocyte numbers were determined by flow cytometry after 30 minutes and 18 hours of storage. Leukocyte numbers in TransFix-stabilized CSF were higher than in the corresponding native samples at both time points (1.4× and 2.3× respectively, P < 0.0001 on each occasion). After 18 hours of storage, TransFix enhanced the detection of LHM in CSF. In all discordant paired observations (13/99, P = 0.005), the level of suspicion (classified as positive, suspicious, or negative) in CSF with TransFix was higher than in native CSF. We conclude that the use of TransFix-containing CSF storage tubes prevents cellular loss and enhances flow cytometric detection of LHM after 18 hours of storage. © 2013 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.