As in the past, the book is introduced with an overview of the immune system, which is immediately followed by a new, practical, and fun-to-read chapter on “Statistics of Immunological Testing” that is invaluable both in interpreting test results and also in the validation of new tests and the development of reference ranges. Throughout this edition, readers will fi nd “normal ranges” including serum immunoglobulins, complement components, cytokines, and new to this edition—age-associated normal ranges for lymphocyte subsets. The fi rst edition’s chapter on fl ow cytometry has been expanded into six completely revised chapters including a thorough treatise on general fl ow cytometry principles and practice, quality control and theory, leukemia and lymphoma immunophenotyping analyses along with cytogenetic abnormalities, an update on CD4 measurement guidelines in HIV-infected persons and two new chapters covering (1) the fl ow cytometry–based diagnosis of primary immunodefi ciency disease and (2) a history of the human leukocyte differentiation antigen workshops (now renamed the human cell differentiation antigen workshops) along with two comprehensive and very informative tables on CD.
The chapters on clinical laboratory disease monitoring include laboratory methods for monitoring new biological therapies in the context of clinical trials and routine practice, an entire chapter devoted specifi cally to the immunological assessment of gastrointestinal diseases, and a global review of the laboratory assessment of autoimmune disease. Infectious disease monitoring is discussed from the serological perspective, as well as the timely review of the technology and applications of new and now well-established molecular techniques. Finally, the laboratory’s role in bone marrow and solid organ transplant is presented from the perspectives of antibody screening and crossmatching as well as molecular-based human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing, followed by Chapter 20, which presents novel methods for monitoring functional immunosuppression of alloreactivity in patients posttransplant.
This edition of the handbook provides a practical reference of the important immunological parameters along with up-to-date descriptions of the methods used for their assessment and applications in health and disease. The text is particularly relevant to practicing clinicians, clinical laboratory professionals, and students interested in human immunology both from laboratory and applied clinical perspectives.