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Diagnostic use of cytologic examination of bone marrow from dogs with thrombocytopenia: 58 cases (1994–2004)

Matthew D. MillerDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Katharine F. LunnDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine the diagnostic use of cytologic examination of bone marrow from dogs with thrombocytopenia.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—58 dogs with thrombocytopenia.

Procedures—Medical records were searched and reviewed for dogs with thrombocytopenia. Dogs that had thrombocytopenia and cytologic examination of bone marrow were included in the study. Dogs with other hematologic abnormalities, with a previous diagnosis of hematopoietic neoplasia, or that had previous treatment with cytotoxic drugs were excluded. Bone marrow cytologic findings were reviewed. Results were compared between dogs with severe thrombocytopenia (< 20,000 platelets/μL) and dogs with mild to moderate thrombocytopenia (20,000 to 200,000 platelets/μL).

Results—58 dogs met the inclusion criteria. Of 55 dogs with diagnostic bone marrow aspirates, 36 had severe thrombocytopenia. Cytologic evaluation of bone marrow did not reveal substantial nonmegakaryocytic bone marrow abnormalities or result in a definitive diagnosis in any of these dogs. Nineteen dogs with mild to moderate thrombocytopenia had diagnostic bone marrow aspirates. Bone marrow cytologic findings revealed nonmegakaryocytic abnormalities in 4 of these dogs. Significantly fewer dogs with severe thrombocytopenia had abnormalities identified on cytologic examination of bone marrow, compared with dogs with mild to moderate thrombocytopenia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cytologic examination of bone marrow is unlikely to provide specific diagnostic or prognostic information in dogs with severe thrombocytopenia.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the diagnostic use of cytologic examination of bone marrow from dogs with thrombocytopenia.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—58 dogs with thrombocytopenia.

Procedures—Medical records were searched and reviewed for dogs with thrombocytopenia. Dogs that had thrombocytopenia and cytologic examination of bone marrow were included in the study. Dogs with other hematologic abnormalities, with a previous diagnosis of hematopoietic neoplasia, or that had previous treatment with cytotoxic drugs were excluded. Bone marrow cytologic findings were reviewed. Results were compared between dogs with severe thrombocytopenia (< 20,000 platelets/μL) and dogs with mild to moderate thrombocytopenia (20,000 to 200,000 platelets/μL).

Results—58 dogs met the inclusion criteria. Of 55 dogs with diagnostic bone marrow aspirates, 36 had severe thrombocytopenia. Cytologic evaluation of bone marrow did not reveal substantial nonmegakaryocytic bone marrow abnormalities or result in a definitive diagnosis in any of these dogs. Nineteen dogs with mild to moderate thrombocytopenia had diagnostic bone marrow aspirates. Bone marrow cytologic findings revealed nonmegakaryocytic abnormalities in 4 of these dogs. Significantly fewer dogs with severe thrombocytopenia had abnormalities identified on cytologic examination of bone marrow, compared with dogs with mild to moderate thrombocytopenia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cytologic examination of bone marrow is unlikely to provide specific diagnostic or prognostic information in dogs with severe thrombocytopenia.

Contributor Notes

Presented in part at the 24th Annual American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, Louisville, May 2006.

Address correspondence to Dr. Miller.