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The Prokan Veterinary Hematology Analyzer delivers excellent precision and accuracy across a wide range of values.

Precision (Reproducibility)

Precision, or reproducibility, is a statistical measurement of how well an analyzer can “reproduce” the same value if a single sample is run multiple times on the same instrument. Precision is your assurance that an analyzer is producing consistent, reliable results. A high-quality analyzer should be able to generate values that are fairly close to one another across all sample runs.

Correlation (Accuracy)

Correlation (or accuracy), can only be achieved after precision is assured. Accuracy is determined by running numerous samples on a “test” analyzer then running the same samples on a reference instrument. A statistical correlation, known as the value, reflects how similar results are between the two instruments. In a recent study, 367 dog, cat, and horse samples were run on the Prokan analyzer and also on a reference instrument. Close alignment of the Prokan analyzer results to the red “perfection” line shows that the Prokan analyzer results are virtually in distinguish able from the comparable reference lab results.

The Prokan analyzer is proven to consistently and reliably identify abnormalities that require blood film review. Using blood films in conjunction with a hematology system, the practitioner can verify there are no abnormalities in the instrument-generated differential. Abnormalities beyond the expertise of the in-hospital laboratory may then be referred to a clinical pathologist for review.

Precise Sample Measurement and Cell Counting
The
Prokan analyzer uses technologies found in high-end reference analyzers to ensure precise sample measurement. Utilizing shear valve technology, it “shears off” a very precise amount of sample for dilution. Since counts are reported as X number of cells per micro liter of blood, the quantity of blood used for analysis must be precise and reproducible. The shear valve excels at this task for making dilutions.

The
Prokan analyzer also utilizes metering tubes to accurately count the number of cells in a given volume of diluted blood. Other analyzers count cells by drawing sample through the aperture for a fixed period of time, for example,10 seconds. This may lead to inaccurate cell counts if the opening is restricted due to build-up of protein from previous blood samples. Fewer cells pass through the orifice during the 10-second interval. Metering tube technology allows the Prokan analyzer to count cells based on a fixed volume, not a fixed time. If the aperture opening is restricted, the sample flows slower through the aperture but also flows slower through the metering tubes. Regardless of the speed, cell counting is initiated at the “Start” point and ends at the “Stop” point. The volume of fluid in the metering tube (270μl), and thus the volume of sample drawn through the aperture, remains the same time after time.

Exclusive Prokan Sampling
The
Prokan analyzer gives you the ability to run a complete CBC with a20-μl sample (about one drop)—a significant benefit with small or dehydrated patients. Prokan Sampling involves the use of a 20-μl EDTA-coated capillary tube and an adapter for use in the analyzer. To use Prokan Sampling:

1.     Place a needle into an accessible vein (do not attach a syringe!).

2.     Allow blood to fill the hub of the needle.

3.     Place one end of the Prokan capillary tube into the needle hub and allow the tube to fill.

4.     Wipe the outside of the capillary tube to remove excess blood.

5.     Place the tube into the Micropipette Adapter.

6.     Place the Micropipette Adapter into the Prokan analyzer. Results are generated in less than one minute.

ADVANCED DIAGNOSTICS

Cell Distribution
The
Prokan analyzer plots results on a size distribution graph called a histogram. Small cells are plotted on the left side of the histogram; large cells are plotted on the right. Typical histograms appear as follows:

 

 

 

All hematology analyzers use size as a criterion for cell differentiation. Smaller cells, such as platelets, are “seen” differently than larger cells, such as RBCs. Cell size varies considerably from species to species and patient to patient.

Floating Discriminators
Most in-house hematology systems use fixed separation lines, or discriminators, to distinguish populations. These lines are fixed in place on the histogram, based on where cell populations typically fall. However, this technique can be inaccurate if cells are smaller or larger than “average.”

The
Prokan analyzer utilizes floating rather than fixed discriminators to differentiate cell types. With each patient, an advanced software program evaluates the histograms and calculates the optimal way to separate out each cell type. This produces a very accurate count of each population. The divisions between cell types will vary from patient to patient based on species and disease condition. Because of this fluctuation, discriminators that are fixed in place will often give erroneous results. Floating discriminators, on the other hand, are placed at optimum separation points based on individual patient data.



WBC Pathology
The
Prokan analyzer plots a WBC differential using a technique similar to RBC/PLT analysis. In the WBC dilution, a lysing reagent is added, which removes RBCs and platelets and strips membranes from WBCs. This leaves nuclear remnants, which are drawn through the WBC aperture then counted and sized just as though they were intact cells. A WBC histogram is then generated, showing smallest to largest-sized remnants. Lymphocytes form the smallest remnant and are plotted to the far left. Monocytes fall in the middle of the histogram, and granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils) fall to the far right. The height of each histogram represents the number of cells of each size. Histograms are used in conjunction with cell counts and instrument flags to identify abnormalities in the CBC. Any abnormality should then be followed up by examination of a blood film.

Reticulocytes
Anemia is typically present in 5–10% of small animal samples. In these instances, it is useful to evaluate the blood for the presence of regeneration and RBC abnormalities that may help determine the cause of the anemia. Heska recommends that the best way to assess regeneration is examination of the stained blood film for polychromasia (or reticulocytes), while also looking for RBC abnormalities. The Prokan analyzer’s identification of an increase in RDW and/or MCV is evidence of probable reticulocytosis, but this is best confirmed by slide examination.