Mac or HP upgrade question -Reply

Antony Bakke bakkea at
Sun Feb 9 12:51:29 EST 1997

Tom McHugh wrote:

"I want to be able to transfer results files from SimulSet for CD4/CD8
lymphocyte phenotyping to a host computer (LIS, Sunquest).... I am considering
upgrading to the Mac and CellQuest but am concerned about the cost and the
uncertainty of being able to connect to the host LIS for result file transfer
and whether or not CellQuest will be any more user friendly and less tedious
than Lysys II.

Anyone have a suggestion as to the best route to take?  Anyone with good
experiences with using the Coulter XL and multi-Qprep and sample loader station?
Does this work in routine practice? 



I do not have an automatic system and am also interested in this question.  I
have looked at some of the possibilities and you have a number of options.  Some
of these have been mentioned on this listserver before and I'm sure there are

1.  I believe that the HP 340 system does have a ethernet board and can transfer
data to IBM-PCs so it may be able to transfer data to the Sunquest.  BD can
transfer results files, so you may need to get the structure of that file and
write a program for the Sunquest that picks out the surface marker data that you
want in your LIS.  Since you need data from several files on each patient, you
will have to have sequential file transfers to get all the data and of course be
certain that the data is associated with the correct patient.

2.  Another option is getting an HP to IBM transfer cable and board from Verity
Software house ($1000) and transfering the data to an IBM-PC where it can be
analyzed on Winlist and the data you want transfered to a spreadsheet and then
to the LIS.  WinList 2.01(the version I have) does not "support Dynamic Data
Exchange as a server of information," according to the manuel.  However, the
program has a POKE command that sends results data to other applications when
Winlist is acting as a "client."   I have not tried this, but it may be possible
to send results data directly to your LIS, or certainly from the spreadsheet to
the LIS.  This is obviously multi-step and therefore does not meet your need for
speed.  I have transfered data to the PC by the HP to IBM transfer and this
works well, but I have not done the additional transfer to the LIS.  Others can
say how well this works and how much effort it takes.

3.  We have both an old FACScan and a Coulter XL with sample loader and
multi-Qprep.  Both instruments work well, but the FACScan requires less service.
 You can upgrade your FACScan with an autoloader. The XL sample loader requires
exact alignment and seems to get out of adjustment about once every two months. 
In addition, the complex fluidics system is prone to blocking and leaking.  The
XL is not an entirely hands off instrument.  The automatic region gating on
forward and side scatter is not always correct and MUST be checked.  Careful
setting of the forward scatter threshold will help.  CD45 vs side scatter does
not eliminate all the problems.  I do not have experience with the BD autogating
software.  Data transfer on the XL does work, BUT all the data from a file is
transfered to a spreadsheet and you need a macro in the spreadsheet to cull out
the data you want in preparation for sending it to the LIS.  Again a multi-step
process.  As above you may be able to write a program on the Sunquest that culls
this data.

Let me know if you hear of any better solutions.

Good Luck,
Tony Bakke, PhD
Director, Clinical Immunology and Flow Cytometry
Dept of Pathology
Oregon Health Sciences University
Portland, OR
bakkea at ohsu,edu

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