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Lymph node cytology in dogs and cats

I. Amores-Fuster, P. Cripps, P. Graham, A. M. Marrington, L. Blackwood

LYMPH node cytology can be used to investigate lymph node abnormalities and for tumour staging. This study aimed to assess how and why lymph node cytology is used by vets in the UK.

Computerised records of fine needle aspirates submitted to a laboratory in England were analysed. The quality of samples, diagnoses obtained and, if available, clinical history, were assessed.

A total of 1473 records were included in the analysis: 1274 from dogs and 199 from cats. Tumour staging was the reported reason for sampling in 9 per cent of canine samples and 11 per cent of cat samples The probability of obtaining a cytological diagnosis did not differ between samples submitted with history and those without. The median number of slides submitted per case was three. In dogs, submitting a greater number of slides was associated with a significantly increased probability of obtaining a diagnostic specimen and a cytological diagnosis. However, no such association was observed in feline samples. Around 73 per cent of the canine samples were considered to be of sufficient quality for a diagnosis to be made, while the figure for feline samples was 86 per cent. The main reason for …

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