Optimization of fecal cytology in the dog: Comparison of three sampling methods.

Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation : official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc

PubMedID: 28480802

Frezoulis PS, Angelidou E, Diakou A, Rallis TS, Mylonakis ME. Optimization of fecal cytology in the dog: Comparison of three sampling methods. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2017;1040638717709857.
Dry-mount fecal cytology (FC) is a component of the diagnostic evaluation of gastrointestinal diseases. There is limited information on the possible effect of the sampling method on the cytologic findings of healthy dogs or dogs admitted with diarrhea. We aimed to: (1) establish sampling method-specific expected values of selected cytologic parameters (isolated or clustered epithelial cells, neutrophils, lymphocytes, macrophages, spore-forming rods) in clinically healthy dogs; (2) investigate if the detection of cytologic abnormalities differs among methods in dogs admitted with diarrhea; and (3) investigate if there is any association between FC abnormalities and the anatomic origin (small- or large-bowel diarrhea) or the chronicity of diarrhea. Sampling with digital examination (DE), rectal scraping (RS), and rectal lavage (RL) was prospectively assessed in 37 healthy and 34 diarrheic dogs. The median numbers of isolated ( p = 0. 000) or clustered ( p = 0. 002) epithelial cells, and of lymphocytes ( p = 0. 000), differed among the 3 methods in healthy dogs. In the diarrheic dogs, the RL method was the least sensitive in detecting neutrophils, and isolated or clustered epithelial cells. Cytologic abnormalities were not associated with the origin or the chronicity of diarrhea. Sampling methods differed in their sensitivity to detect abnormalities in FC; DE or RS may be of higher sensitivity compared to RL. Anatomic origin or chronicity of diarrhea do not seem to affect the detection of cytologic abnormalities.