oa African Journal of Laboratory Medicine - Evaluation of the accuracy of the CellaVision? DM96 in a high HIV-prevalence population in South Africa : original research

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2225-2002
  • E-ISSN: 2225-2010



The CellaVision? DM96 (DM96) is a digital microscopy system which performs well in developed countries. However, to date it has not been evaluated in Africa, where the pathology spectrum encountered is very different. In particular, its utility in a setting with high HIV prevalence has not been assessed, which is of interest because of the morphological aberrations often seen in HIV-positive patients.

This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of the DM96 in a South African laboratory, with emphasis on its performance in samples collected from HIV-positive patients.
A total of 149 samples submitted for a routine differential white cell count in 2012 and 2013 at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa were included, of which 79 (53.0%) were collected from HIV-positive patients. Results of DM96 analysis pre- and post-classification were compared with a manual differential white cell count and the impact of HIV infection and other variables of interest were assessed.
Pre- and post-classification accuracies were similar to those reported in developed countries. Reclassification was required in 16% of cells, with particularly high mis-classification rates for eosinophils (31.7%), blasts (33.7%) and basophils (93.5%). Multivariate analysis revealed a significant relationship between the number of misclassified cells and both the white cell count ( = 0.035) and the presence of malignant cells in the blood ( = 0.049), but not with any other variables analysed, including HIV status.
The DM96 exhibited acceptable accuracy in this South African laboratory, which was not impacted by HIV infection. However, as it does not eliminate the need for experienced morphologists, its cost may be unjustifiable in a resource-constrained setting.

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