Cytologic characterization of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid collected through an endotracheal tube in cats

Eleanor C. Hawkins From the Departments of Companion Animal and Special Species Medicine (Hawkins) and Microbiology, Pathology and Parasitology (Kennedy-Stoskopf, Levy, Meuten, Cullins, W. Tompkins, M. Tompkins), College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (DeNicola).

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Suzanne Kennedy-Stoskopf From the Departments of Companion Animal and Special Species Medicine (Hawkins) and Microbiology, Pathology and Parasitology (Kennedy-Stoskopf, Levy, Meuten, Cullins, W. Tompkins, M. Tompkins), College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (DeNicola).

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Julie Levy From the Departments of Companion Animal and Special Species Medicine (Hawkins) and Microbiology, Pathology and Parasitology (Kennedy-Stoskopf, Levy, Meuten, Cullins, W. Tompkins, M. Tompkins), College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (DeNicola).

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Donald J. Meuten From the Departments of Companion Animal and Special Species Medicine (Hawkins) and Microbiology, Pathology and Parasitology (Kennedy-Stoskopf, Levy, Meuten, Cullins, W. Tompkins, M. Tompkins), College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (DeNicola).

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Laura Cullins From the Departments of Companion Animal and Special Species Medicine (Hawkins) and Microbiology, Pathology and Parasitology (Kennedy-Stoskopf, Levy, Meuten, Cullins, W. Tompkins, M. Tompkins), College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (DeNicola).

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Dennis DeNicola From the Departments of Companion Animal and Special Species Medicine (Hawkins) and Microbiology, Pathology and Parasitology (Kennedy-Stoskopf, Levy, Meuten, Cullins, W. Tompkins, M. Tompkins), College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (DeNicola).

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Wayne A. F. Tompkins From the Departments of Companion Animal and Special Species Medicine (Hawkins) and Microbiology, Pathology and Parasitology (Kennedy-Stoskopf, Levy, Meuten, Cullins, W. Tompkins, M. Tompkins), College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (DeNicola).

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Mary B. Tompkins From the Departments of Companion Animal and Special Species Medicine (Hawkins) and Microbiology, Pathology and Parasitology (Kennedy-Stoskopf, Levy, Meuten, Cullins, W. Tompkins, M. Tompkins), College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (DeNicola).

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Summary

Bronchoalveolar lavage was performed through an endotracheal tube in 34 specific-pathogen-free cats to determine expected values for bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cytologic analysis, using this method of collection. Saline solution for lavage was instilled in 3 separate aliquots at a volume of 5 ml/kg of body weight each. Analysis of sequential aliquots was performed to investigate the differences in cell counts among the 3 fractions. The effect of combining aliquots, including or omitting the first fraction, was evaluated to determine whether all aliquots could be combined for analysis without substantially affecting results.

The total number of nucleated cells retrieved from each cat ranged from 0.9 to 31.1 × 106. Most of these cells were macrophages (78 ± 15%, mean ± sd) and eosinophils (16 ± 14%). The first aliquot had the greatest number of epithelial cells, and the lowest total nucleated cell count and relative and absolute eosinophil counts. Differences among aliquots also were identified for relative and absolute macrophage counts, relative and absolute neutrophil counts, and absolute lymphocyte count. Statistically significant differences were found for many of the cell counts when values from the combination of the second and third aliquots were compared with values from the combination of all 3 aliquots. Magnitude of the differences was small, and these differences were not believed to be of practical consequence.

Summary

Bronchoalveolar lavage was performed through an endotracheal tube in 34 specific-pathogen-free cats to determine expected values for bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cytologic analysis, using this method of collection. Saline solution for lavage was instilled in 3 separate aliquots at a volume of 5 ml/kg of body weight each. Analysis of sequential aliquots was performed to investigate the differences in cell counts among the 3 fractions. The effect of combining aliquots, including or omitting the first fraction, was evaluated to determine whether all aliquots could be combined for analysis without substantially affecting results.

The total number of nucleated cells retrieved from each cat ranged from 0.9 to 31.1 × 106. Most of these cells were macrophages (78 ± 15%, mean ± sd) and eosinophils (16 ± 14%). The first aliquot had the greatest number of epithelial cells, and the lowest total nucleated cell count and relative and absolute eosinophil counts. Differences among aliquots also were identified for relative and absolute macrophage counts, relative and absolute neutrophil counts, and absolute lymphocyte count. Statistically significant differences were found for many of the cell counts when values from the combination of the second and third aliquots were compared with values from the combination of all 3 aliquots. Magnitude of the differences was small, and these differences were not believed to be of practical consequence.

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