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Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology of Regional Lymph nodes for Diagnosing Metastasis in Canine Tumors.


Lymphadenopathy referred as lymph node enlargement is a common problem in dogs due to inflammatory or non inflammatory conditions including neoplasm. It is important to diagnose whether it is primary or secondary in order to attempt treatment. The cytological examination of lymph nodes is a simple and cost effective procedure which may provide valuable information regarding the disease process, including both neoplastic and non-neoplastic conditions (Mehdi et al., 2015). Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) has become a well established method for diagnosis of metastasis to lymph nodes (Steel et al., 1995). FNAC of lymph nodes yield high cellularity and adequate quality and quantity of samples for satisfactory cytological interpretation (Thangapandiyan and Balachandran, 2010). FNAC is an excellent and specific diagnostic procedure used to assess pathological processes in lymph nodes, including primary tumors of lymph nodes and presence of metastasis (Sapierzynski et al., 2010). FNAC of lymph nodes also has the added advantage of being able to predict the primary site (unknown origin of tumor) in several cases (Mehdi et al., 2015).

Hence, the present study was conducted to find out the efficiency of fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) of regional lymph nodes in diagnosing metastasis of tumors in canines.

Materials and Methods

Twenty eight dogs with primary tumor elsewhere in body were selected for this study. All dogs showed lymphadenopathy. FNAC samples of draining lymph nodes (Table 1) were collected from dogs attended. FNAC samples were collected as described already in detail, using 21-23G needle and 10-20 ml syringe in diagnosis of canine lymphadenopathies (Mills, 1984; Cowell et al., 2003). FNAC samples were either air dried and stained with Romonowsky's stains like Wrights, May Grunwald, and Leishman Giemsa or fixed with 95 percent ethanol and stained with Haematoxylin and Eosin.

Results and Discussion

Out of 28 cases, cytologically 19 (67.85%) were classified as metastatic lymphadenopathies with the evidence of metastasis and 9 (32.14%) dogs as tumor associated lymphadenopathy without any evidence of metastasis. The details of metastatic lymphadenopathies are presented in Table 1. Out of these 28 cases, the primary tumor types involved were, 15 (53.57%) carcinomas, 5 (17.86%) sarcomas and 8 (28.57%) discrete cell tumors.

In our study, 60 percent of carcinomas, 75 percent of discrete cell tumors and 100 percent of sarcomas were identified on cytological smear. One each of interstitial cell tumor, intrabdominal carcionoma, hepatocellular carcinoma and nasal adenocarcinoma and two cholangiocellular carcinomas could not be identified on cytology. Though Lagenbach et al. (2001) recorded the sensitivity and specificity of FNAB of lymph nodes for metastasis as 100 and 96 percent, our study gave a lesser sensitivity. The reason could be the recent metastasis, which were selectively localised in periphery and sub-cortical sinus and thus several samples as superficial as possible must be made (Magnol et al., 1994).

Lagenbach et al. (2001) reported that carcinomas were more likely to have metastasized to regional lymph nodes (44 percent) than sarcomas (12.5 percent). However, our study recorded higher percentage of metastasis in sarcomas and that could be due to less number of cases in sarcoma group.

In our study, the observed cytological findings (Fig. 1-4) of metastatic lymphadenopathies are well correlated with other reports (Cowell et al., 2003; Thangathurai et al., 2008; Raskin and Meyer, 2010; Thangapandiyan and Balachandran, 2014; Thangapandiyan et al., 2014).

The results of our study suggested that aspiration cytological examination of regional lymph nodes could be used as an efficient method to rule out metastasis of canine tumors. Since FNAC has high rate of accuracy, it precludes the need for tissue core biopsy or surgery, as it saves precious resources, time and avoids trauma to patients. However, FNAC is not a substitute for conventional histopathology. It should be regarded as an essential component of pre-operative/ pre-treatment diagnosis and with other investigations.


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Lagenbach, A., McManus, P.M., Hendrick, M.J., Shofer, F.S. and Sorenmo. (2001). Sensitivity and specificity of methods of assessing the regional lymph nodes for evidence of metastasis in dogs and cats with solid tumors. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 218: 1424-28.

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M. Thangapandiyan (1), C. Balachandran (2), K. Jeyaraja (3), A. Raja (4) and R. Sridhar (5)

Department of Veterinary Pathology Madras Veterinary College Tamil Nadu Veterinary Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) Vepery

Chennai - 600031(Tamil Nadu)

(1.) Assistant Professor and Corresponding author. E-mail:

(2.) Dean and Professor

(3.) Associate Professor, Department of Clinics

(4.) Professor, Department of Animal Biotechnology

(5.) Professor, Department of Pathology

ISVPT Annual Conference held at AAU, Anand

The XVIIIth Annual Conference of Indian Society of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology (ISVPT) and National Symposium on 'One Health - Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology Approaches' was held at College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Anand Agricultural University (AAU), Anand on 5-7th December, 2018.

The conference was attended by more than 250 Veterinary pharmacologists from across the country. Many eminent personalities also graced the inaugural and valedictory session viz. Prof. A.K. Srivastava, Chairman, Agricultural Scientist Recruitment Board (ASRB); Prof. P.D. Juyal, Vice Chancellor, Nanaji Deshmukh Veterinary Science University (NDVSU), Jabalpur; Prof. Ramesh K. Goyal, Vice Chancellor, Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University, Delhi; Dr. N.C. Patel, Vice Chancellor, AAU and Dr. A.M. Thaker, Dean, AAU.

The conference had 12 technical sessions with papers presented on ethno-pharmacology, toxicology of xenobiotics, molecular and neuropharmacology, pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, clinical regulatory pharmacology and toxicology, food safety and xenobiotic residues, education in Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, animal welfare, good laboratory practices, nutritional pharmacology and antimicrobial resistance.
Table 1: Metastatic lymphadenopathies

Sl.  Primary tumors                  Lymph node               Metastasis
No.                                  sample                    Cytology

 I   Carcinomas
 1   Pheochromocytoma                Mesentric                    +
 2   Interstitial cell tumor         Inguinal                     -
 3   Mammary adenocarcinoma          Inguinal                     +
 4   Mammary adenocarcinoma          Inguinal                     +
 5   Intra-abdominal carcinoma       Popliteal                    -
 6   Nasal adenocarcinoma            Submandibular                +
 7   Sertoli cell tumor              Inguinal                     +
 8   Hepatocellular carcinoma        Hepatic                      +
 9   Hepatocellular carcinoma        Hepatic                      -
10   Cholangiocellular carcinoma     Hilar                        +
11   Cholangiocellular carcinoma     Hilar                        -
12   Cholangiocellular carcinaoma    Mesentric                    -
13   Cholangiocellular carcinoma     Hilar, mesentric             +
14   Sweat gland adenocarcinoma      Popliteal, Sublumbar         +
15   Nasal adenocarcinoma            Submandibular, Cervical      -
II   Sarcoma
1    Melanoma                        Popliteal, Prescapular       +
2    Synovial sarcoma - tarsus       Popliteal                    +
3    Melanoma                        Submandibula                 +
4    Mesothelioma                    Mesentric                    +
5    Osteosarcoma - humerus          Prescapular                  +
III  Round cell tumor
1    Mast cell tumor - skin -hip     Popliteal                    -
2    Mast cell tumor - diffuse       Popliteal, Prescapular       +
3    Mast cell tumor - skin - thigh  Popliteal                    +
4    TVT - skin                      Popliteal                    +
5    TVT - skin                      Inguinal                     -
6    TVT - skin                      Prescapular                  +
7    Malignat histiocytoma           Prescapular, Inguinal,       +
8    Histiocytoma - skin             Popliteal                    +
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Title Annotation:Research Article
Author:Thangapandiyan, M.; Balachandran, C.; Jeyaraja, K.; Raja, A.; Sridhar, R.
Publication:Intas Polivet
Date:Jul 1, 2018
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