Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid from dogs and cats after 24 and 48 hours of storage

Dorothee Bienzle Departments of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7388.
Present address is the Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada.

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 DVM, PhD, DACVP
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John J. McDonnell Departments of Small Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7388.

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 DVM, MSc, DACVIM
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James B. Stanton Departments of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7388.

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 BSc

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Abstract

Objective—To compare differential cell counts and cell characteristics of CSF samples analyzed immediately or after storage for 24 and 48 hours at 4 C with and without the addition of autologous serum.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—36 dogs and 6 cats.

Procedure—CSF samples were collected from the cerebellomedullary cistern and divided into 250-μl aliquots. Slides of CSF samples were prepared by use of cytocentrifugation immediately and after 24 and 48 hours of storage with addition of autologous serum (final concentrations, 11 and 29%). Differential cell counts and number of unrecognizable cells were compared among preparations.

Results—Significant differences in the differential cell counts were not detected among samples analyzed before or after storage. Although the number of unrecognizable cells increased with storage time, this did not result in a significant effect on cell distribution or diagnosis. Cells in CSF samples stored with 11% serum more closely resembled cells in fresh samples than did cells in samples stored with 29% serum.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CSF samples collected at veterinary clinics remote from a diagnostic laboratory or during nonoperational hours may be preserved through the addition of autologous serum. Evaluation of such samples is likely to result in an accurate diagnosis for at least 48 hours after collection. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1761–1764)

Abstract

Objective—To compare differential cell counts and cell characteristics of CSF samples analyzed immediately or after storage for 24 and 48 hours at 4 C with and without the addition of autologous serum.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—36 dogs and 6 cats.

Procedure—CSF samples were collected from the cerebellomedullary cistern and divided into 250-μl aliquots. Slides of CSF samples were prepared by use of cytocentrifugation immediately and after 24 and 48 hours of storage with addition of autologous serum (final concentrations, 11 and 29%). Differential cell counts and number of unrecognizable cells were compared among preparations.

Results—Significant differences in the differential cell counts were not detected among samples analyzed before or after storage. Although the number of unrecognizable cells increased with storage time, this did not result in a significant effect on cell distribution or diagnosis. Cells in CSF samples stored with 11% serum more closely resembled cells in fresh samples than did cells in samples stored with 29% serum.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CSF samples collected at veterinary clinics remote from a diagnostic laboratory or during nonoperational hours may be preserved through the addition of autologous serum. Evaluation of such samples is likely to result in an accurate diagnosis for at least 48 hours after collection. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1761–1764)

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