• Diagnostic sensitivity;
  • feline infectious peritonitis;
  • fine-needle aspiration biopsy;
  • kidney;
  • liver;
  • Tru-cut biopsy

Background: The detection of typical lesions and feline coronavirus (FCoV) antigen in tissues is the only conclusive method for making a diagnosis of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). A positive result using Tru-cut biopsy (TCB) and fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) has high diagnostic specificity, but information about the capacity of these techniques to correctly identify cats with FIP lesions is not available. Objectives: The diagnostic sensitivity of TCB and FNAB for detecting liver and kidney histologic lesions caused by FIP was evaluated. Methods: TCB and FNAB specimens collected mainly at necropsy from 25 cats with FIP were analyzed. Diagnostic sensitivity was calculated on the basis of the number of false-negative and true-positive specimens, compared with the number of organs bearing histologic lesions of FIP. Results: Diagnostic sensitivity was higher for hepatic TCB (64%) and FNAB (82%) than for renal (39% and 42%, respectively) procedures. A high percentage of renal cytologic and TCB specimens were inadequate. Combined analysis of TCB and FNAB specimens collected from the same organ increased the diagnostic sensitivity for liver (86%) and kidney (48%). The sensitivity of immunohistochemical/cytochemical analysis was low (11–38% depending on the technique), probably due to variable distribution of feline coronavirus in the lesions. Conclusion: Biopsy of liver and kidney can correctly identify FIP lesions. However, false-negative results or inadequate samples occur with moderate frequency, especially for immunochemical analysis. Diagnostic sensitivity may be increased when both TCB and FNAB specimens from the same organ are examined.