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  • Letter
  • Open Access

Assessment of monocytic HLA-DR expression in ICU patients: analytical issues for multicentric flow cytometry studies

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 2 and
  • 3
Critical Care201014:432

https://doi.org/10.1186/cc9184

  • Published:

Keywords

  • Septic Patient
  • Standardize Environment
  • Analytical Requirement
  • Future Care
  • Consecutive Measurement

We read with interest the recent report by Gogos and colleagues [1]. While the rationale for their study is excellent, we would like to comment on technical issues that may have influenced the results.

As stated, a time limit of 8 hours between sample drawing and staining at a central laboratory was specified [1]. Unfortunately, information regarding transport conditions is missing (average time, temperature). This seems important since monocytic HLA-DR expression (mHLA-DR) increases artificially over time [2, 3]. Consequently, recommendations suggest that sample staining for mHLA-DR should occur within 4 hours [2, 3]. Although the authors aimed to address the effect of transportation, they inappropriately used samples presenting with already near-maximal mHLA-DR values (> 90%) before storage. We therefore assume that mHLA-DR results may be falsely elevated due to prolonged transportation times. Furthermore, mHLA-DR modulation during sepsis takes days and consecutive measurements are required [4]. Assessment of one early sample (within the first 24 hours) is probably inappropriate to investigate the impact of infection on mHLA-DR. Similarly, apoptosis staining should not be performed after 8 hours and experts' recommendations highlight the need for dedicated protocols on fresh cells [5].

We are convinced that successful future trials in sepsis will rely on our capacity to accurately assess immune responses. In that sense, flow cytometry multicentric clinical studies are essential. Such trials should be performed in standardized environments in accordance with specific (pre)analytical requirements. Otherwise, results might be misinterpreted and may impede promising new avenues in future care of septic patients.

Abbreviations

ICU: 

intensive care unit

mHLA-DR: 

monocytic human leukocyte antigen DR-1.

Declarations

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Cellular Immunology Laboratory, Hôpital E. Herriot, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Pavillon E, 5 place d'Arsonval, 69437 Lyon Cedex 03, France
(2)
Department of Medical Immunology, Charité University Medicine, Campus Mitte, CharitéPlatz 1, Berlin, 10117, Germany
(3)
Charite University Medicine, Department of Nephrology and Intensive Care Medicine, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany

References

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  2. Monneret G, Elmenkouri N, Bohe J, Debard AL, Gutowski MC, Bienvenu J, Lepape A: Analytical requirements for measuring monocytic human lymphocyte antigen DR by flow cytometry: application to the monitoring of patients with septic shock. Clin Chem 2002, 48: 1589-1592.PubMedGoogle Scholar
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  4. Monneret G, Lepape A, Voirin N, Bohe J, Venet F, Debard AL, Thizy H, Bienvenu J, Gueyffier F, Vanhems P: Persisting low monocyte human leukocyte antigen-DR expression predicts mortality in septic shock. Intensive Care Med 2006, 32: 1175-1183. 10.1007/s00134-006-0204-8View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Ayala A, Perl M, Venet F, Lomas-Neira J, Swan R, Chung CS: Apoptosis in sepsis: mechanisms, clinical impact and potential therapeutic targets. Curr Pharm Des 2008, 14: 1853-1859. 10.2174/138161208784980617View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar

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