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Pathology Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 483670, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Automated Measurement of Immature Granulocytes: Performance Characteristics and Utility in Routine Clinical Practice

1Department of Pathology, Chettinad Deemed University, Padur, Kancheepuram 603103, India
2Chettinad Deemed University, Padur, Kancheepuram 603103, India
3Department of Microbiology, Chettinad Deemed University, Padur, Kancheepuram 603103, India

Received 26 September 2011; Accepted 30 November 2011

Academic Editor: H. A. Lehr

Copyright © 2012 Balamurugan Senthilnayagam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The granulocytic “shift to left” reflects marrow response to bacterial infection, and this may be quantified as band count or immature granulocyte count (IGC). The former value, used widely in neonatal sepsis, has been notoriously difficult to measure accurately and precisely. A reproducible, precise, and accurate counting of immature granulocyte counts may be possible with automation. This study of 200 febrile patients aimed at analysing the performance characteristics of automated immature granulocytes (AIGs) in predicting blood culture and their clinical utility. The absolute (IGC) and relative IG count (IG%) had area under curve (AUC) of 0.69 and 0.66. Moreover, the means of IGC and IG% between culture positive and negative groups were statistically significant suggesting that they are potential markers for bacteremia. IGC of 0.03 × 103 cu⋅mm and IG% of 0.5% offered sensitivity of 86.3% and 92.2%, respectively, and may be used for screening for bacteremia. Higher values, IGC > 0.3, and IG% > 3 had specificity greater than 90%, although the values were infrequent. It may not be long before that these automated hemograms are put into regular diagnostic use.