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3part Cell Counter: Pros, Cons And Working Principle

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By Author: Everlife CPC diagnostics
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Blood is a crucial fluid that circulates throughout the human body, transporting oxygen, nutrition, hormones, and waste. Blood is made up of various cell types that serve various roles, such as delivering oxygen (RBCs), combating infections (WBCs), and halting bleeding (PLTs). The quantity and quality of blood cells can reflect a person's health status and indicate the presence of certain diseases or disorders.

A 3-part cell counter is a device that automatically counts and categorizes blood cells depending on their size and shape: RBCs, WBCs, and PLTs. It can also determine the amount of haemoglobin in the blood, which is the protein that transports oxygen in RBCs, as well as the percentage of blood volume occupied by RBCs, known as hematocrit. It may also determine additional blood quality and quantity data, such as the average amount of haemoglobin in each RBC, the average size of PLTs, and the ratio of each type of WBC in the blood.
A 3-part cell counter is commonly used in clinical laboratories for regular blood testing and screening reasons, particularly in low-volume environments. It can ...
... provide quick, accurate, and dependable results that can aid in the diagnosis or monitoring of a variety of blood illnesses or ailments, such as anaemia, infection, inflammation, or bleeding. It can also discover abnormal cells or conditions that need to be investigated or confirmed further.

Working Principle of a 3-Part Cell Counter

A three-part cell counter employs the electrical impedance technique, often known as the Coulter principle. This method involves passing an electric current through a diluted blood sample in an electrolyte solution and measuring the resistance change caused by blood cell presence. The change in resistance is precisely proportional to the volume of the cell, allowing the number and size of cells to be calculated.
A reagent first treats the blood sample and makes the cytoplasm of WBCs shrink to different degrees. This makes three sizes of WBCs: large (neutrophils), medium (monocytes), and small (lymphocytes). Then, the chamber with two electrodes and a tiny hole sucks in the lysed sample. As each cell passes through the hole, it displaces some of the electrolyte solutions and creates a pulse in the electric current. The pulse height corresponds to the volume of the cell, while the pulse frequency corresponds to the number of cells.
The pulses are then amplified and analyzed by a computer that counts and classifies the cells into three groups: RBCs, WBCs, and PLTs. The computer also calculates other parameters, such as HGB, HCT, mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH), mean platelet volume (MPV), red cell distribution width (RDW), platelet distribution width (PDW), and WBC differential percentage.

Pros of a 3-Part Cell Counter

A three-part cell counter offers various advantages over manual cell counters or more sophisticated five-part cell counters. Some advantages of a three-part cell counter include
Speed: A three-part cell counter can process up to 60 samples per hour, outpacing manual counting or microscopy. It may also deliver results in minutes, which is important for emergency situations or point-of-care testing.
Accuracy: By using standardized reagents and techniques, a 3-part cell counter can reduce human errors and variability. It can also detect abnormal cells or situations by raising alerts or sounding alarms, prompting further research or confirmation.
Reliability: A 3-part cell counter can provide consistent and reproducible results by using quality control and calibration systems. It can also perform self-diagnosis and troubleshooting functions to ensure optimal performance and prevent errors or breakdowns.

Cons of a 3-Part Cell Counter

When compared to manual cell counting methods or more complex 5-part cell counters, a 3-part cell counter has some limits and drawbacks. The following are some downsides of a three-part cell counter:
Specificity: WBCs can only be counted using a three-part cell counter: neutrophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes. It is unable to differentiate eosinophils and basophils from neutrophils, which are necessary for diagnosing allergies or parasitic illnesses. It also fails to identify immature or abnormal WBCs, such as blasts or atypical lymphocytes, which are signs of blood cancer or viral infections.
Sensitivity: A 3-part cell counter may not be able to detect subtle changes or variations in blood cells that may be clinically significant. For example, it may not be able to measure the mean corpuscular volume (MCV) or the mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) of RBCs, which are useful for diagnosing anemia types. It may also not be able to assess the morphology or function of blood cells, such as the shape, color, or aggregation of RBCs or PLTs.
Interference: A 3-part cell counter can give incorrect results or raise false alarms because factors like cold agglutinins, lipemia, hemolysis, clots, or bubbles in the sample might interfere with its accuracy. These factors may affect the electrical impedance or optical properties of the blood cells, leading to inaccurate counts or classifications.

In the world of hematology, 3-part cell counters have proven to be valuable tools for healthcare professionals, offering simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and rapid results. While they may have limitations when it comes to complex diagnoses, they excel at routine blood testing and screening. CPC Diagnostics, a trusted name in the industry, provides reliable and efficient 3-part cell counters that cater to the needs of healthcare facilities. If you are looking for a high-quality 3-part cell counter that can meet your laboratory needs and expectations, you should check out the products from Everlife CPC Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of medical laboratory equipment in India. Everlife CPC Diagnostics offers two products of 3-part cell counters: Dynacount 3D and Dynacount 3D PLUS. These products can measure 24 and 23 parameters, respectively, and have a large LCD touchscreen, a smart counting mode, one-touch error removal, and bidirectional LIS connectivity. The Dynacount 3D PLUS also has a research mode that can calculate the NLR and PLR for inflammation and prognosis assessment.

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