How does one decide whether the presence of certain cell types is clinically important or negligible? Would the presence of certain cells in conjunction with other symptoms be enough, or should it be judged on relative proportions?

I have arrived at a diagnosis for a case study (and I know it is correct) and am just reviewing what I have included and am beginning to question myself. I fear that I am making unnecessary tenuous connections to further support my conclusions.

An example, to put this into context:

  • A peripheral blood film has all the hallmarks of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), however, the film alone is not enough to confirm.
  • In addition, have spotted definitely one, maybe two, dacrocytes (teardrop cell) on the film, these are not typically associated with AML as far as I am aware.
  • Dacryocytes are not diagnostically indicative of any specific condition.
  • Dacrocytes are however present in several conditions that can transform to AML.

So, in this scenario, I feel it would be worth mentioning considering the clinical setting but the numbers just seem so insignificant that I am concerned it would appear as grasping, or a bit through the grapevine.

Any guidance in general is appreciated, I'm not looking for an answer to the provided example per se.

  • $\begingroup$ one of probable answers is: through science and careful use of p-value $\endgroup$ – Oct18 is day of silence on SE Mar 22 '15 at 20:33

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