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CLINICAL PATHOLOGY PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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CLINICAL PATHOLOGY. Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians by Dennis M. Mccurnin 4 th edition Saunders. Accurate clinical pathology data is invaluable in the diagnosis of diseases in all species.

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Clinical pathology


Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians by Dennis M. Mccurnin 4th edition Saunders

Clinical pathology

Accurate clinical pathology data is invaluable in the diagnosis of diseases in all species.

Repetition of the data (tests) provides a means of monitoring and evaluating the success of chosen treatments.

The most commonly used clinical laboratory procedures in veterinary practices are



clinical chemistry


Clinical pathology


Hem(e) = blood

Ology = study of

Hematology = study of blood

CBC = complete blood count

Provides the veterinarian with the following information

* PCV (packed cell volume)

* WBC count (leukocytes)

* RBC count (erythrocytes)

* hemoglobin

* RBC indices

* total plasma protein

* evaluation of the blood smear for RBC morphology and WBC differential

Clinical pathology

Hematological procedures are performed on anticoagulated whole blood.

The preferred anticoagulant is EDTA and is commercially available in “purple top” tubes.



microhematocritcentrifuge (to determine PCV)

refractometer (determine the plasma protein and urine specific gravity)

hemacytometer (counting chamber)

Clinical pathology


PCV = percentage of total blood volume accounted for by RBCs

* hematocrit

RBC indicies = calculations provided when automated analyzers are used.

MCV = mean corpuscular volume

MCH = mean corpuscular hemoglobin

MCHC = mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration

* Could be used to help evaluate and determine causes of anemia.

Clinical pathology

The erythrocytes of most mammals are disc shaped and anuclear.

They appear flat with an area in the center of the cell with less hemoglobin.

The RBCs of animals differ in size.

From largest to smallest: dog






* Anisocytosis = RBCs that vary in size (cows more than other species)

Clinical pathology

  • Poikilocytosis = term used to indicate changes in RBC shape

  • Leptocytes = RBCs with an increased surface area that makes them highly deformable. (Target Cells)

Clinical pathology

  • Acanthocytes = RBCs with a membrane abnormality that causes the cells to develop multiple, irregularly spaced club shaped projections.

  • Crenated cells = cells which have numerous rounded, evenly spaced projections

  • Schisotcytes = fragmented RBCs

  • Spherocytes = RBCs that appear smaller than normal and show no central pallor

Clinical pathology

  • Schisotcytes = fragmented RBCs

  • Spherocytes = RBCs that appear smaller than normal RBCs and exhibit no central pallor

Clinical pathology

  • * Metarubricyte (NRBC) = immature nucelated RBCs

  • Polychromasia = term used to describe a variation in the color of RBCs.

Clinical pathology

  • Polychromatophilic = bluish in color when stained

  • Hypochromic RBCs = have an increased area of central pallor with a narrow, peripheral rim of hemoglobin within the cell.

Clinical pathology

* Rouleaux – groupings of RBCs that resemble stacked coins (it is important to establish this from true agglutination)

Possible Parasites in RBCs:

* Haemobartonellafelis – the parasite responsible for the feline infectious anemia.

Clinical pathology

  • Babesia spp. – various species that can infect any domestic animal

  • Other Morphological Abnormalities

  • Howell-Jolley bodies – small, often singular, deeply basophilic nuclear remnants that are occasionally seen on normal blood films - can be seen with regenerative anemias.

Clinical pathology

  • Basophilic stippling: is due to staining of small amounts of cytoplasmic RNA in RBCs. They can be found in markedly regenerative anemia in dogs and cats but most commonly in cattle

  • Heinz bodies: denatured hemoglobin that has fused to the RBC membrande and appear as refractile projections from the RBC cell membrane.

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