Flow Cytometry Specimen

Diagnostic hematopathology has become an increasingly complex subspecialty, particularly with neoplastic disorders of the blood and bone marrow. While morphologic assessment of blood smears, bone marrow smears, and tissue sections remains the cornerstone of lymphoma and leukemia diagnosis and classification, immunophenotyping is a very valuable and important complementary tool. Immunophenotyping hematopoietic specimens can help resolve many differential diagnostic problems posed by clinical or morphological features.


For University of Chicago Medicine bone marrow collections please refer to Bone Marrow Scheduling Policy for detailed instructions. This procedure refers to flow cytometry immunophenotyping of bone marrow and peripheral blood specimens collected outside University of Chicago Medicine. 


Flow cytometry bone marrow analysis requires a bone marrow aspirate with a minimum volume of 2 mL of blood collected in lavender top EDTA tube. Flow cytometry peripheral blood analysis requires a peripheral blood specimen with a minimum volume of 2 mL of blood collected in lavender top EDTA tube. Analysis of a specimen takes one day, with a maximum of four days of laboratory time. Specimens are retained for 14 days after receipt. 

If cytogenetic or molecular tests are also desired an additional specimen should be submitted. It is important that the specimen is obtained, processed, and transported according to instructions for the other required test.

The CPT codes for the services we provide include:

  • 88184—Flow cytometry; first cell surface, cytoplasmic, or nuclear marker x 1
  • 88185—Flow cytometry; additional cell surface, cytoplasmic, or nuclear marker (each)
  • 88187—Flow cytometry interpretation, two to eight markers (if appropriate)

Delivery Instructions

We process and report specimens Monday through Friday. Specimens should be delivered to the Hematology Laboratory within 24 hours of collection. We do not accept deliveries on Saturday or Sunday. Delivery information should be on the outside of the package. 

Specimens should be shipped at room temperature. Extreme temperature changes should be avoided. 

Packages should be delivered to:
Hematopathology Laboratory
Room TW-051/MC0008
5841 S. Maryland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637

Contact information:
Phone: 773.702.1314
Fax: 773.702.1200

Test Methods

Refer to our Test Catalog for specific details.