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196 - Perchè una storia dell'Ematologia di Laboratorio

Autore/i: Cappelletti. P

Rivista: RIMeL - IJLaM, Vol. 2, N. 3, 2006 (MAF Servizi srl ed.)

The blood has always fascinated mankind, and its history is “a story of discovery, of people, and of ideas” according to MM Wintrobe. After the early beginnings, where the observation of clotting and clot retraction might have induced the birth of the doctrine of the four humors, the introduction of quantitation was the milestone of the history of Hematology. Since its slow dawn, taking about two centuries, Hematology knew the morphologic era after the introduction of Ehrlich’s staining procedure for blood cells; the physiologic revolution depending on Whipple and Minot demonstration of the connection between liver and its contents, and pernicious anemia; and the technological revolution of the explosion of instrumentation after the World War II.
In the present technological era of hematology, the history of Laboratory Hematology might be divided in several steps, according the vision of SIMeL Hematology Study Group (GdS-E): the milestone are, without doubt, the invention and application of impedance principle for blood particles counting and measuring (1949-1956), and successively the automatic cytochemical cellular recognition in the 70s. During the 80s the progress of technology followed two ways: solution of the problems connected to the “shape factor”, and the combination of multiple technologies in one instrument for a better clinical performance. In the 90s, the main goal was the identification of “difficult” cell populations: reticulocytes, erythroblasts, platelets, immature granulocytes, and apoptotic cells. Now, a progressive technological syncretism and the integration, by the capabilities of the information technology, of a large variety of information are the tools for the clinical, both diagnostic and therapeutic, scope of Laboratory Hematology.

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