Automated detection of hematological abnormalities through classification of flow cytometric data patterns

Mark Alexander Rossman, Florida International University


Flow Cytometry analyzers have become trusted companions due to their ability to perform fast and accurate analyses of human blood. The aim of these analyses is to determine the possible existence of abnormalities in the blood that have been correlated with serious disease states, such as infectious mononucleosis, leukemia, and various cancers. Though these analyzers provide important feedback, it is always desired to improve the accuracy of the results. This is evidenced by the occurrences of misclassifications reported by some users of these devices. It is advantageous to provide a pattern interpretation framework that is able to provide better classification ability than is currently available. Toward this end, the purpose of this dissertation was to establish a feature extraction and pattern classification framework capable of providing improved accuracy for detecting specific hematological abnormalities in flow cytometric blood data. ^ This involved extracting a unique and powerful set of shift-invariant statistical features from the multi-dimensional flow cytometry data and then using these features as inputs to a pattern classification engine composed of an artificial neural network (ANN). The contribution of this method consisted of developing a descriptor matrix that can be used to reliably assess if a donor’s blood pattern exhibits a clinically abnormal level of variant lymphocytes, which are blood cells that are potentially indicative of disorders such as leukemia and infectious mononucleosis. ^ This study showed that the set of shift-and-rotation-invariant statistical features extracted from the eigensystem of the flow cytometric data pattern performs better than other commonly-used features in this type of disease detection, exhibiting an accuracy of 80.7%, a sensitivity of 72.3%, and a specificity of 89.2%. This performance represents a major improvement for this type of hematological classifier, which has historically been plagued by poor performance, with accuracies as low as 60% in some cases. This research ultimately shows that an improved feature space was developed that can deliver improved performance for the detection of variant lymphocytes in human blood, thus providing significant utility in the realm of suspect flagging algorithms for the detection of blood-related diseases.^

Subject Area

Engineering, Biomedical|Engineering, Electronics and Electrical

Recommended Citation

Rossman, Mark Alexander, "Automated detection of hematological abnormalities through classification of flow cytometric data patterns" (2011). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3472060.