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Evaluation of peripheral lymphoreticular biopsy techniques and their clinical side effects in sheep
  1. C. M. A. Thuring, DVM1,
  2. M. A. Crowe, BAgSc, PhD1,
  3. J. F. Roche, MAgSc, PhD,DSc, MVM (de jure officii)1,
  4. T. Sweeney, BSc, PhD1,
  5. H. McAllister, MVB, DVR2 and
  6. B. Earley, BSc, PhD3
  1. 1 Department of Animal Husbandry and Production, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Conway Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Medicine, University College Dublin, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland
  2. 2 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland
  3. 3 Teagasc Grange Research Centre, Dunsany, County Meath, Ireland
  1. Teagasc, 19 Sandymount Avenue, Dublin 4, Ireland


Tissue samples were collected postmortem from 126 sheep at five lymphoreticular sites by different techniques. The three most successful combinations of sites and techniques were: the third eyelids, using a forceps and scissors, which provided a mean (se) of 5.32 (0.70) lymphoid follicles per 5 pm tissue section, a mandibular lymph node, using a Biopty gun, which gave 1.19 (0.26) lymphoid follicles per 5 pm tissue section, and tonsil, using a biopsy forceps, which gave 1.14 (0.27) lymphoid follicles per 5 pm tissue section. These three techniques were repeated once a month for five months on five sheep under general anaesthesia, and their clinical effects were compared with five control sheep which were restrained and anaesthetised in the same way but from which no biopsies were taken. Most lymphoid follicles (3.47 [0.581 per 5 pm tissue section) were obtained by using the third eyelid biopsy technique. There were no clinical side effects associated with the biopsy procedure. There were increases in the plasma concentration of cortisol in all the animals, suggesting that the restraint and anaesthesia were more stressful than the biopsy procedure.

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