5. Automated Platelet Analysis

  1. Kandice Kottke-Marchant MD, PhD2,3,4 and
  2. Bruce H. Davis MD5
  1. Carol Briggs BSc, FIBMS and
  2. Samuel J. Machin MD, FRCP, FRCPath

Published Online: 8 AUG 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444398595.ch5

Laboratory Hematology Practice

Laboratory Hematology Practice

How to Cite

Briggs, C. and Machin, S. J. (2012) Automated Platelet Analysis, in Laboratory Hematology Practice (eds K. Kottke-Marchant and B. H. Davis), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444398595.ch5

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Institute, Cleveland, OH, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Pathology, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA

  3. 4

    Hemostasis and Thrombosis, Department of Clinical Pathology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA

  4. 5

    Trillium Diagnostics, LLC, Bangor, ME, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Haematology, University College London Hospitals, London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 AUG 2012
  2. Published Print: 10 APR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405162180

Online ISBN: 9781444398595



  • Platelets;
  • automated counting;
  • immunologic platelet counting;
  • thrombocytopenia;
  • platelet transfusion;
  • reticulated platelets;
  • platelet parameters;
  • problems in platelet counting;
  • quality control


The four main procedures for platelet counting are manual phase-contrast microscopy, impedance, optical light scatter/fluorescence, and flow cytometry.

The introduction of automated blood counters using impedance technology resulted in a dramatic improvement in precision. However impedance counts have limitations as cell size analysis cannot discriminate platelets from other similarly sized particles. Optical or fluorescence methods have now been introduced for automated platelet counting, but there are still cases where an accurate platelet count remains a challenge. An improved reference procedure has been developed to enable optimization of platelet counting. This method, which utilizes monoclonal antibodies to platelet cell surface antigens conjugated to a fluorophore, allows calibration of cell counters, assignment of values to calibrators, and an accurate platelet count to be obtained in pathologic samples. Analyzers also report platelet parameters related to size and one analyzer has introduced a method to quantitate immature or reticulated platelets.