VDx now offers Flow Cytometry in-house – your tool for state-of-the-art immunophenotyping of hematopoietic neoplasia in dogs
Flow cytometry is an advanced technique for diagnosis and classification of hematopoietic neoplasia (leukemia and lymphoma). Because this is a heterogeneous group of diseases with a range of clinical presentations and progression, accurate classification of hematopoietic neoplasia is critical in predicting biologic behavior and selecting appropriate therapy. Flow cytometry, which is performed on live cells in liquid suspension (blood, bone marrow aspirates, and tissue aspirates in saline), allows identification of cell associated proteins that distinguish neoplastic cell populations by lineage (e.g. lymphoid vs. myeloid, B cell vs. T cell) and aberrant protein expression, allowing more precise classification for better prognostication and tailored therapy.
Flow cytometry has advantages over traditional immunohistochemistry in that multiple cell proteins can be assessed simultaneously, sample collection is minimally invasive, and results are rapidly available. These features provide rapid and relevant prognostic information, and allow you to make timely, well-informed, decisions regarding clinical management of your patients.
Flow cytometry is typically recommended to guide clinical decision making after a diagnosis of lymphoma or leukemia has already been established. Accurate classification of hematopoietic neoplasia requires assessment of disease distribution (e.g. peripheral lymph nodes, visceral organs, blood), relevant clinicopathologic findings (e.g. CBC, serum chemistry, urinalysis results) and features of cell morphology, in addition to immunophenotyping. As such, flow cytometry should always be interpreted in the context of clinical findings and concurrent cytologic or histologic evaluation of the affected tissue(s). In order to provide the best interpretation of flow cytometry results we recommend concurrent submission of air dried, unstained blood smears or fine needle aspirate smears for cytologic evaluation (or copy of cytology/CBC report if evaluated elsewhere), along with your submission for flow cytometry testing.
Flow cytometry can only be run on live cells. Samples must be shipped expediently so that they can be processed, ideally, within 24 hours of sample collection. See FAQs for recommendations regarding sample collection and shipping. It can be difficult to interpret heterogeneous samples (e.g. small concentrations of atypical cells in blood or emerging lymphoma within a reactive lymph node) because we cannot visually inspect cells when performing flow cytometry. Neoplastic lymphocytes can sometimes have unexpected atypical protein expression that precludes definitive lineage classification. In these cases additional tests, such as PCR for Antigen Receptor Rearrangement (PARR) may help to further characterize these cells.
What samples are good candidates for immunophenotyping by flow cytometry?
How should I prepare samples for flow cytometry?
How should I ship my sample to VDx for Flow Cytometry?
VDx New Client information Form (PDF) (Please complete and submit with sample if new VDx client or fax to 1-530-753-4055)
Since 2001, the pathologists and staff of VDx Veterinary Diagnostics have focused upon what veterinarians have told us they want out of a laboratory – Accurate results delivered on time, pathologists who don’t “fence sit” and are readily available for consultations, plus a laboratory/customer service staff which actually does what it is going to do. VDx allows you and your staff to focus on what matters most – caring for your patients.