Several pathologies are detected by counting different types of leukocytes indigital microscopic images. However, manipulation of these images, i.e. storage and/or transmission, can be complicated by the large sizes of the files containing them. In order to tackle this particular situation,
such as JPEG2000 have been employed while preserving the overall perceived image quality. In this paper a strategy based on objective quality metrics and performance of segmentation algorithms is proposed for the estimation of the maximal allowable compression rate (CR) where deterioration introduced in the images by the JPEG 2000 codec does not affect identification of white blood cells. Results indicate that the estimated value lays around CR = 142:1as measured by the metrics employed.