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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Body Fluid Differential Tutorial. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Neutrophils, continued

While the segmented neutrophils are easy to identify in this smear, the large number of cells makes it difficult to evaluate this smear for the presence of bacteria or other infectious agents.

The nucleated cell count must be performed prior to preparing the cytocentrifuge slide, as the volume of sample used is dependent on the cell count. Specific procedures vary by instrument manufacturer, but general guidelines for preparation of body fluid cytocentrifuge slides are:

Nucleated Cell Count

Volume of Specimen Used

1 - 500/µL

10 drops

500 - 1000/µL

5 drops

1000 - 10,000/µL

3 drops

>10,000/µL Sample must be diluted