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Immature Granulocyte (IG) count

What is an IG count?

With the exception of blood from neonates or pregnant women, the appearance of immature granulocytes in the peripheral blood indicates an early-stage response to infection, inflammation or other stimuli of the bone marrow. Being able to detect them quickly and reliably opens doors to new diagnostic possibilities for related disorders.

Current areas of research regarding the diagnostic significance of circulating immature granulocytes focus on the early and rapid discrimination of bacterial from viral infections, particularly in children, recognising bacterial infection in neonates, and the early recognition of bacterial infection and sepsis in adults, which is of vital importance in particular for intensive care patients.

Valuable information for immediate action – at no additional cost

The high accuracy of our IG counting method provides a valuable tool for physicians in concluding a diagnosis or requesting further patient investigation. When samples are flagged for the presence of IG on conventional haematology analysers, they usually require a microscopic differential count. Our automatic IG counting reduces the review rate significantly. Moreover, results including the presence and concentration of IGs become available within minutes – and are included in the complete CBC+DIFF analysis.

Many of our devices offer an IG, or immature granulocyte count. They are used especially for patients who are highly susceptible to infections because of a suppressed immune system and because the increased IG count reflects an active response by the immune system. In addition to patients with general infections and inflammations, clinicians will pay particular attention to:

  • Patients from the intensive care unit,
  • Patients undergoing chemotherapy,
  • Patients suffering from HIV/AIDS.

Benefits

Sysmex devices are especially powerful as we provide an actual IG count [%] and not just a “flag” for immature granulocytes. We also provide an absolute IG count that considers the ratio of immature granulocytes and the total of neutrophils. This means XXX.

Automated IG counts generally mean you can reduce the number of blood smears and the workload by manual counting.

Using IG count

The IG count alone does not let you predict sepsis or infection. However, it can support diagnosis and prediction together with other parameters such as cytokines, interleukins and CRP. It is more useful as a monitoring parameter when the patient has already been diagnosed correctly and is under treatment.

Blood samples of unknown patients with an increased IG count should usually undergo blood smear preparation and morphological examination to distinguish between malignant and reactive conditions. In known patients, an automated IG count can avoid the manual review while therapy monitoring infections or inflammation.

The IG count of paediatric patients, especially premature neonates or neonates younger than seven days, has to be taken with care due to their immature immune systems and the greater number of immature cells in the circulating blood.

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