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Abstract

Quality assurance is an implied concept inherent in every consumer's purchase of a product or service. In laboratory testing, quality assurance encompasses preanalytic (sampling, transport, and handling prior to testing), analytic (measurement), and postanalytic (reporting and interpretation) factors. Quality-assurance programs require that procedures are in place to detect errors in all 3 components and that the procedures are characterized by both documentation and correction of errors. There are regulatory bodies that provide mandatory standards for and regulation of human medical laboratories. No such regulations exist for veterinary laboratory testing. The American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology (ASVCP) Quality Assurance and Laboratory Standards Committee was formed in 1996 in response to concerns of ASVCP members about quality assurance and quality control in laboratories performing veterinary testing. Guidelines for veterinary laboratory testing have been developed by the ASVCP. The purpose of this report was to provide an overview of selected quality-assurance concepts and to provide recommendations for quality control for in-clinic biochemistry testing in general veterinary practice.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical and pathologic findings associated with an outbreak of cryptococcosis in an unusual geographic location (British Columbia, Canada).

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—1 pink-fronted cockatoo, 2 ferrets, 20 cats, and 15 dogs.

Procedure—A presumptive diagnosis of cryptococcosis was made on the basis of serologic, histopathologic, or cytologic findings, and a definitive diagnosis was made on the basis of culture or immunohistochemical staining.

Results—No breed or sex predilections were detected in affected dogs or cats. Eleven cats had neurologic signs, 7 had skin lesions, and 5 had respiratory tract signs. None of 17 cats tested serologically for FeLV yielded positive results; 1 of 17 cats yielded positive results for FIV (western blot). Nine of 15 dogs had neurologic signs, 2 had periorbital swellings, and only 3 had respiratory tract signs initially. Microbiologic culture in 15 cases yielded 2 isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans var grubii (serotype A) and 13 isolates of C neoformans var gattii(serotype B); all organisms were susceptible to amphotericin B and ketoconazole. Serologic testing had sensitivity of 92% and specificity of 98%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serologic titers were beneficial in identifying infection in animals with nonspecific signs, but routine serum biochemical or hematologic parameters were of little value in diagnosis. Most animals had nonspecific CNS signs and represented a diagnostic challenge. Animals that travel to or live in this region and have nonspecific malaise or unusual neurologic signs should be evaluated for cryptococcosis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1716–1722)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether particular vaccine brands, other injectable medications, customary vaccination practices, or various host factors were associated with the formation of vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats.

Design—Prospective multicenter case-control study.

Animals—Cats in the United States and Canada with soft tissue sarcomas or basal cell tumors.

Procedure—Veterinarians submitting biopsy specimens from cats with a confirmed diagnosis of soft tissue sarcoma or basal cell tumor were contacted for patient medical history. Time window statistical analyses were used in conjunction with various assumptions about case definitions.

Results—No single vaccine brand or manufacturer within antigen class was found to be associated with sarcoma formation. Factors related to vaccine administration were also not associated with sarcoma development, with the possible exception of vaccine temperature prior to injection. Two injectable medications (long-acting penicillin and methyl prednisolone acetate) were administered to case cats more frequently than to control cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings do not support the hypotheses that specific brands or types of vaccine within antigen class, vaccine practices such as reuse of syringes, concomitant viral infection, history of trauma, or residence either increase or decrease the risk of vaccineassociated sarcoma formation in cats. There was evidence to suggest that certain long-acting injectable medications may also be associated with sarcoma formation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1283–1292)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association