Appropriate number of events to collect for 3 color flow cytometry ?

Howard Shapiro hms at
Sun Jan 20 13:43:31 EST 2008

Maciej Simm wrote:
> Abdul, this question (or it's variation) comes up frequently on the
> list. I recommend checking out this archived post - 
> Maciej Simm
> On Jan 16, 2008, at 3:52 PM, Abdul Khan wrote:
>> Hello Again!
>> I am sorry for posting too many emails in the forum, can't get any
>> better advice than here.
>> I am just wondering and interested to know that if there is any
>> particular number of events (say 10,000 or 20,000) I need to collect
>> while doing 3 color flow cytometry in whole blood.

I'm glad Maciej dug up my old post; I was about to rewrite the same
thing and post it again. The short answer is that the number of cells
you need to collect depends on what you're looking for - how many do you
expect to find per unit volume of sample, or per fixed number of WBC or
nucleated cells - and on the level of precision you want, which will be
determined, as I and Mario pointed out, by the number of cells of
interest you actually do count, according to Poisson statistics.



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