Practical bone marrow cytology in the dog and cat

Published: Dec 21, 2017
Bone marrow cat cytological evaluation dog

In companion animal medicine, bone marrow (BM) aspiration cytology is a cost-effective diagnostic tool, which provides excellent morphological detail of cells and infectious agents. The major indications for BM aspiration include unexplained clinical manifestations (e.g., fever, body weight loss), persistent hematological or biochemical abnormalities (e.g., anemia, leukocytosis), diagnosis and/or staging of malignancies (e.g., lymphoma, mast-cell tumor), diagnosis of important infectious diseases such as leishmaniosis (Leishmania infantum) and canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis) and evaluation of canine iron stores. Complications associated with BM aspiration are rare and the equipment and supplies required minimal, hence accounting for the popularity of this procedure in the clinical setting compared to BM core biopsy. This review focuses on the technical details pertaining to the collection of BM aspirate material, including the usual anatomic sites for sampling, the equipment required, the preparation of the animal, the aspiration technique and the BM material processing for good quality slide preparation. The description of the cellular population normally anticipated in the BM of the dog and cat and the systematic approach in evaluating and interpreting the BM cytological findings are also highlighted. In the last part of this review, the current classification guidelines for the canine and feline BM malignancies are briefly outlined.

Article Details
  • Section
  • Review Articles
Download data is not yet available.
Bain BJ, Clark DM, Wilkins BS (2010) The normal bone marrow. In: (eds.: Bain BJ, Clark DM, Wilkins BS) Bone marrow pathology, 4th edn. Willey-Blackwell, Chichester, pp. 1-53.
Bienzle D (2012) Collection and interpretation of bone marrow samples. In: (eds.: Day MJ, Kohn B) BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, 2nd edn. BSAVA, Gloucester, pp. 21-30.
Defarges A., Abrams-Ogg A., Foster R.A., Bienzle D (2013) Comparison of sternal, iliac, and humoral bone marrow aspiration in Beagle dogs. Vet Clin Pathol 42:170-176.
Foucar K (2001) Bone marrow examination: Indications and techniques. In: (ed.: Foucar K) Bone Marrow Pathology, 2nd edn. ASCP Press, Chicago, pp. 30-49.
Grindem CB, Neel JA, Juopperi TA (2002) Cytology of bone marrow. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 32:1313-1374.
Grindem CB, Haddad JL, Tyler RD, Cowell RL (2014) The bone marrow. In: (eds.: Valenciano AC, Cowell LR) Cowell and Tyler’s Diagnostic Cytology and Hematology of the Dog and Cat, 4th edn. Elsevier, St Louis, pp. 489-526.
Guillot M, Rialland P, Nadeau M-E, del Castillo JRE, Gauvin D, Troncy E (2011) Pain induced by a minor medical procedure (bone marrow sspiration) in dogs: Comparison of pain scales in a pilot study. J Vet Intern Med 25:1050-1056.
Harvey JW (2012a) Bone marrow examination. In: (ed.: Harvey JW) Veterinary Hematology: A Diagnostic Guide and Color Atlas, 1st edn. Elsevier, St Louis, pp. 234-259.
Harvey JW (2012b) Disorders of bone marrow. In: (ed.: Harvey JW) Veterinary Hematology: A Diagnostic Guide and Color Atlas, 1st edn. Elsevier, St Louis, pp. 260-327.
Jain NC, Blue JT, Grindem CB, Harvey JW, Kociba GJ, Krehbiel JD, Latimer KS, Raskin RE, Thrall MA, Zinkl JG (1991) Proposed criteria for classification of acute myeloid leukemia in dogs and cats. Vet Clin Pathol 20:63-82.
Juopperi TA, Bienzle D, Bernreuter DC, Vernau W, Thrall MA, McManus PM (2011) Prognostic markers for myeloid neoplasms: A comparative review of the literature and goals for future investigation. Vet Pathol 48:182-197.
Kalli I, Leontides L, Mylonakis ME, Adamama-Moraitou K, Rallis T, Koutinas AF (2010) Factors affecting the occurrence, duration of hospitalization and final outcome in canine parvovirus infection. Res Vet Sci 89:174-178.
Lachowicz JL, Post GS, Moroff SD, Mooney SC (2004) Acquired amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia-four cases and a literature review. J Small Anim Pract 45:507-514.
Lucroy MD, Madewell BR (1999) Clinical outcome and associated diseases in dogs with leukocytosis and neutrophilia: 118 cases (1996-1998). J Am Vet Med Assoc 214:805-807.
Lucroy MD, Madewell BR (2001) Clinical outcome and diseases associated with extreme neutrophilic leukocytosis in cats: 104 cases (1991-1999). J Am Vet Med Assoc 218:736-739.
McManus PM (2005) Classification of myeloid neoplasms: a comparative review. Vet Clin Pathol 34:189-212.
Mills J (2012) Anaemia. In: (eds.: Day MJ, Kohn B) BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, 2nd edn. BSAVA, Gloucester, pp. 31-44.
Moritz A, Bauer NB, Weiss DJ, Lanevschi A, Saad A (2010) Evaluation of bone marrow. In: (eds.: Weiss DJ, Wardrop KJ) Schalm,s Veterinary Hematology, 6th edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Ames, pp. 1039-1046.
Mylonakis ME, Koutinas AF, Billinis C, Leontides LS, Kontos V, Papadopoulos O, Rallis T, Fytianou A (2003) Evaluation of
cytology in the diagnosis of acute canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis): a comparison between five methods. Vet Microbiol 91:197-204.
Mylonakis ME, Koutinas AF, Breitschwerdt EB, Hegarty BC, Billinis C, Leontides L, Kontos V (2004) Chronic canine ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis): A retrospective study of 19 natural cases. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 40:174-184.
Mylonakis ME, Day MJ, Leontides L, Saridomichelakis M, Koutinas AF, Polizopoulou Z, Petanides T, Farmaki R, Athanasiou L (2005) Type of smear may influence thrombopoietic cell counts in the bone marrow of clinically healthy dogs. Vet Clin Pathol 34:358-361.
Mylonakis ME, Koutinas AF, Leontides LS (2006) Bone marrow mastocytosis in dogs with myelosuppressive monocytic ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis): a retrospective study. Vet Clin Pathol 35:311-314.
Mylonakis ME, Day MJ, Siarkou V, Vernau W, Koutinas AF (2010). Absence of myelofibrosis in dogs with myelosuppression induced by Ehrlichia canis infection. J Comp Pathol 142:328-331.
Mylonakis ME, Soubasis N, Kritsepi-Konstantinou M, Vernau W, Theodorou K, Tentoma L., Koutinas AF (2012) Presumptive histiocytic neoplasm with unusual immunophenotype in a cat. Comp Clin Pathol 21:231-236.
O’Keefe DA, Couto CG, Burke-Schwartz C, Jacobs RM (1987) Systemic mastocytosis in 16 dogs. J Vet Intern Med 1:75-80.
Penny RH, Carlisle CH (1970) The bone marrow in the dog: a comparative study of biopsy material obtained from the iliac crest, rib and sternum. J Small Anim Pract 11:727-734.
Queisser U, Queisser W, Spiertz B (1971) Polyploidization of megakaryocytes in normal humans, in Patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenia and with pernicious anaemia. Br J Haematol 20:489-501.
Raskin RE, Mesick JB (2012) Bone marrow cytologic and histologic biopsies: Indications, technique and evaluation. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 42:23-42.
Reeder JP, Hawkins EC, Cora MC, Marks SL, Grindem CB (2013) Effect of a combined aspiration and core biopsy technique on quality of core bone marrow specimens. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 49:16-22.
Saridomichelakis MN, Mylonakis ME, Leontides LS, Koutinas AF, Billinis C, Kontos VI (2005) Εvaluation of lymph node and bone marrow cytology in the diagnosis of canine leishmaniosis (Leishmania infantum) in symptomatic and asymptomatic dogs. Am J Trop Med Hyg 73:82-86.
Silva LFN, Golim MA, Takahira RK (2012) Measurement of thrombopoietic activity through the quantification of megakaryocytes in bone marrow cytology and reticulated platelets. Res Vet Sci 93:313- 317.
Stokol T, Blue JT, French TW (2000) Idiopathic pure red cell aplasia and nonregenerative immune-mediated anemia in dogs: 43 cases (1988-1999). J Am Vet Med Assoc 216:1429-1436.
Weiss DJ, Aird B (2001) Cytologic evaluation of primary and secondary myelodysplastic syndromes in the dog. Vet Clin Pathol 30:67- 75.
Weiss DJ (2003) New insights into the physiology and treatment of acquired myelodysplastic syndromes and aplastic pancytopenia. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 33:1317-1334.
Weiss DJ (2005) Differentiating benign and malignant causes of lymphocytosis in feline bone marrow. J Vet Intern Med 19:855-859.
Weiss DJ (2006a) A retrospective study of the incidence and the classification of bone marrow disorders in the dog at a veterinary teaching hospital (1996-2004). J Vet Intern Med 20:955-961.
Weiss DJ (2006b) Evaluation of dysmyelopoiesis in cats: 34 cases (1996-2005). J Am Vet Med Assoc 228:893-897.
Weiss DJ (2007) Hemophagocytic syndrome in dogs: 24 cases (1996-2005). J Am Vet Med Assoc 230:697-701.
Workman H, Vernau W (2003) Chronic lymphocytic leukemia in dogs and cats: the veterinary perspective. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 33:1379-1399.
Most read articles by the same author(s)