Comparison of results of clinicians' assessments, cytologic examination of fine-needle lymph node aspirates, and flow cytometry for determination of remission status of lymphoma in dogs

Laurel E. Williams Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.

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 DVM, DACVIM
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Maia Tcheng Broussard Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.
Present address is the Animal Rehabilitation and Wellness Institute, 700 Blue Ridge Rd, Ste 107, Raleigh, NC 27606.

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Jeffrey L. Johnson Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710.

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Jennifer Neel Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine interclinician agreement when assessing remission of lymphoma in dogs and the association among results of clinicians' assessments via lymph node palpation, cytologic examination of fine-needle lymph node aspirates, and flow cytometry as determinants of remission.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—23 dogs with untreated lymphoma.

Procedure—Two clinicians independently measured large lymph nodes and cytologic examination and flow cytometry of cells from a mandibular or popliteal lymph node were performed 1 week prior to initiating treatment. Lymph node measurements with clinicians' remission assessments and cytologic examination were repeated at weeks 2, 3, and 5; flow cytometry was repeated at week 5.

Results—Significant correlation was identified between clinicians' remission assessments. Significant correlation between lymph node palpation and cytologic examination was identified at week 5, but not at weeks 2 and 3. Lymphoma was diagnosed in 16 of 23 (70%) dogs at initial evaluation by use of flow cytometry, although it was of limited use at subsequent evaluations and results were not diagnostic of lymphoma in any dog at week 5, including 1 dog in which lymphoma was diagnosed cytologically.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that physical examination and measurement of lymph node volume may not be sufficient for accurately determining remission, that flow cytometry alone should not be relied on as a means for diagnosis, and that cytologic examination of fineneedle lymph node aspirates should be considered as the most accurate means of determining remission status at times in which treatment modifications are considered. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:562–566)

Abstract

Objective—To determine interclinician agreement when assessing remission of lymphoma in dogs and the association among results of clinicians' assessments via lymph node palpation, cytologic examination of fine-needle lymph node aspirates, and flow cytometry as determinants of remission.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—23 dogs with untreated lymphoma.

Procedure—Two clinicians independently measured large lymph nodes and cytologic examination and flow cytometry of cells from a mandibular or popliteal lymph node were performed 1 week prior to initiating treatment. Lymph node measurements with clinicians' remission assessments and cytologic examination were repeated at weeks 2, 3, and 5; flow cytometry was repeated at week 5.

Results—Significant correlation was identified between clinicians' remission assessments. Significant correlation between lymph node palpation and cytologic examination was identified at week 5, but not at weeks 2 and 3. Lymphoma was diagnosed in 16 of 23 (70%) dogs at initial evaluation by use of flow cytometry, although it was of limited use at subsequent evaluations and results were not diagnostic of lymphoma in any dog at week 5, including 1 dog in which lymphoma was diagnosed cytologically.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that physical examination and measurement of lymph node volume may not be sufficient for accurately determining remission, that flow cytometry alone should not be relied on as a means for diagnosis, and that cytologic examination of fineneedle lymph node aspirates should be considered as the most accurate means of determining remission status at times in which treatment modifications are considered. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:562–566)

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