INTRODUCTION: The development of flow cytometry has facilitated the phenotypic characterization of different populations of lymphocytes. The number of technical platforms performing this analysis is limited and requires transportation of samples from the field site to the laboratory. The aim of our study was to evaluate the agreement of absolute CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells count measurements from whole blood specimens stored at room temperature (15–25°C) tested 24 h and 72 h post-collection.
METHODS: Forty-one EDTA-anticoagulated blood samples stored at room temperature (15–25°C) after sampling were assayed after 24 h and 72 h, respectively. The BD FACSLyric™ system was used to identify and enumerate cell subsets.
RESULTS: After 72 h, CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T lymphocytes, data showed non-significant differences with p-values of 0.766, 0.855, and 0.754, respectively. The Boxplot showed substantial convergence between the two measurement periods.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Our data indicated that whole blood can be stored for up to 72 h at room temperature before analysis without affecting the result.