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Effects of storage on the results of cytological analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in cats

L. A. Nafe, A. E. DeClue, C. R. Reinero

BRONCHOALVEOLAR lavage fluid (BALF) collection and testing is an important diagnostic procedure in cats with respiratory disease. In other species, there is evidence that storage conditions can affect BALF cytological results. This study evaluated the effects of BALF storage on total nucleated cell counts (TNCCs), differential cell counts (DCCs), cell morphology and cytological diagnosis in cats.

Thirty-four adult cats with eosinophilic (21 cases), neutrophilic (eight cases) or mixed airway (five cases) inflammation, and 11 healthy control cats without clinical or cytological evidence of airway inflammation, were included in the study. BALF samples were collected from each cat and divided into five equal aliquots. One aliquot was processed within one hour of collection to provide baseline values, while the remaining aliquots were stored at 4°C (refrigerated) or 24°C (room temperature) for 24 or 48 hours. Baseline BALF results were compared with those from stored samples.

BALF samples stored at 24°C for 48 hours had decreased TNCCs compared with baseline. Samples stored at 24°C for 24 and 48 hours had a higher percentage of eosinophils compared with baseline, while samples stored at …

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