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Chapter 17 : Introduction
This is the introductory chapter to the section Flow Cytometry. In an effort to capture the burgeoning field of clinical flow cytometry, the chapters presented in this section are divided into two parts. The first part focuses on current application, which encompasses updates in established procedures as well as new procedures that have been recently adopted. The second part is more innovative, with applications combining molecular methodologies and flow cytometry. This section provides a quick review of clinical flow cytometry applications. Stem cell transplant is no longer a rare procedure performed only at highly specialized institutions. With the advent of cord blood banking, new safer stem cell transplant protocols, and numerous new clinical trials, accurate enumeration of stem cells in a variety of products has become an essential procedure for an increasing number of institutions. The X-linked hyper immunoglobulin M (IgM) syndrome is a combined immune deficiency resulting from mutations in the genes encoding the CD40 ligand (CD154). A diagnostic flow cytometry screening test has been developed for the rapid detection of CD40 ligand expression abnormalities. Currently, the most commonly utilized laboratory methods for laboratory diagnosis of allergy involve the detection of allergen-specific IgE. Improved standardization of the allergens used for in vitro testing combined with improvements in the procedures will lead to an increased adoption of this testing modality in the near future.