Lymphoma diagnosed in a dog within an hour of fine needle aspiration via digital cytology service
Julie Piccione, DVM, MS, DACVP
A 5-year-old, male, neutered Bulldog was presented to their veterinarian for an acute onset of multiple masses. Upon examination, the masses were discovered to be lymph nodes. Fine needle aspiration was performed and slides were stained in-clinic. Five images were taken with a smart phone, in various areas of two slides collected from separate lymph nodes. The images were submitted to the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) via the digital cytology service. One representative image is provided below (Figure 1). A cytologic interpretation of lymphoma was provided within an hour of submission. This allowed for rapid diagnosis and referral of this patient to an oncologist. The glass slides were later submitted and reviewed by another clinical pathologist, who further confirmed the diagnosis of lymphoma.
The diagnosis of lymphoma can often be made cytologically in dogs. To improve the odds of a cytologic diagnosis of lymphoma, most pathologists recommend aspiration of multiple lymph nodes with submission of multiple slides, including unstained preparations. When the cytologic findings are equivocal, stained slides can be used for PCR for antigen receptor rearrangement (PARR). PARR testing can often confirm the diagnosis of lymphoma when cytologic examination is concerning but not definitive.
For more information about this case, contact Clinical Pathology Section Head, Dr. Julie Piccione. To learn more about TVMDL’s testing services, visit tvmdl.tamu.edu or call 1.888.645.5623.