If you are a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse, with a desire to start preparing and interpreting cytology in-house I highly recommend that you watch this webinar, which is part of VC 2022 called “Basic Cytology for Practitioners”, presented by Trevor Whitbread and available for free thanks to NationWide Labs.

The webinar covers the most common situations encountered in practice where cytology can be useful for diagnosis. The aim is to enable you to interpret about 70% of the cytology you will see in practice.

The webinar starts with a list of pros and cons between cytology and histopathology. We usually want a diagnosis, but we also want something that tells us what the next step in our clinical process should be and that is what cytology and histopathology give us.

Types of samples taken for cytology:

  • Skin scrape
  • Impression smear
  • FNA-superficial/internal
  • Bone marrow
  • FLUID: body fluid, BAL, Joint fluid, Urine, Prostatic wash and CSF

For each sample, there are also common places where these samples can be taken. In addition, you will need need a microscope, a hairdryer or fan, frosted slides and pencil, stain, needles, syringe and textbooks.

Trevor goes on to explain how a cytology should be prepared and the steps to follow, giving recommendations on whether to send it to a lab or to examine it in-house.

The webinar concentrates mostly on FNA. To take an FNA you insert the needle into the lesion and redirect it in different areas of the lesion and start suctioning, when you think you have a sample stop suctioning and then you can remove the needle and place the sample on a slide. On top of the sample, you place a glass that you gently slide down and you will get the smear result to be able to stain for observation.

For interpretation, we can observe inflammation or neoplasia and according to this we can go into further investigation. For basic interpretation we must consider that the sample has cells and preferably is not contaminated with keratin or blood. During the webinar, Trevor shows many photos of cytology examples.

He also explains how to differentiate round cells, and shows cytological photographs of histiocytic cells, mast cells, plasma cells, lymphocytes and TVT. For basic FNA interpretation it is important to be able to differentiate and observe mesenchymal cell as well, like spindle cells and fat cells.

I encourage you not to miss this webinar during this week of the Virtual Congress 2022 and learn more about cytology!