Objective—To determine sensitivity and specificity of
physical examination, fine-needle aspiration, and needle
core biopsy of the regional lymph nodes for evidence
of metastasis in dogs and cats with solid
Animals—37 dogs and 7 cats.
Procedure—Regional lymph nodes were evaluated
by means of physical examination (palpation), fineneedle
aspiration, and needle core biopsy. Results
were compared with results of histologic examination
of the entire lymph node, the current standard.
Results—Tumors included 18 sarcomas, 16 carcinomas,
7 mast cell tumors, and 3 other tumors.
Carcinomas were more likely to have metastasized to
the regional lymph node (7/16 animals) than were sarcomas
(2/18). Sensitivity and specificity of physical
examination were 60 and 72%, respectively.
Sensitivity and specificity of cytologic examination of
fine-needle aspirates were 100 and 96%, respectively.
Sensitivity and specificity of histologic examination
of needle core biopsy specimens were 64 and 96%,
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested
that fine-needle aspiration may be a sensitive
and specific method of evaluating the regional lymph
nodes in dogs and cats with solid tumors, because
results correlated well with results of histologic examination
of the entire lymph node. Physical examination
alone was not a reliable method and should not be
used to decide whether to aspirate or biopsy the
regional lymph nodes. (J Am Vet Med Assoc