The flow cytometric (FCM) analysis of reticulocytes in a clinical laboratory can be accomplished using acridine orange (AO), thiazole orange (TO), auramine O, thioflavin T, pyronin Y, dimethyl-oxacarbocyanine or transferrin receptor assays. AO and TO are vital stains, show good correlation with microscopic reticulocyte determinations and, when compared to each other, give an excellent correlation. The coefficient of variation is below 5% and batch analysis on blood samples stored for 96 h further reduces manpower needs. Finally we have used the mean fluorescent intensity of TO as a reticulocyte maturity index (RMI). In bone marrow transplant patients, the RMI has been the earliest indicator of marrow engraphment. Using the RMI we have been able to define three patterns of engraphment: early, delayed and failed. Although a variety of standards will be required, the clinical FCM reticulocyte analysis promises to be the preferred and accepted method in the clinical laboratory.