The enumeration and analysis of blood cells with automated haematology analysers have significantly improved in recent years due to advances in cell detection technologies, which have reduced the manual differential rate. Despite these improvements, morphology remains a keystone of haematology. A thorough understanding of the principles and mechanisms behind Romanowsky staining methods can enhance laboratory practice in areas such as implementing new instruments or procedures, and troubleshooting poor staining performance. These ideas and suggestions are exemplified by a selection of patient cases showing how analytical results are complemented by good quality blood films and staining.
Daniel Pelling, CSci, FIBMS, DFM