• Open Access

Flow Cytometric Immunophenotype of Canine Lymph Node Aspirates


Department of Pathobi-ology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1; e-mail dbienzle@uoguelph.ca.


Increasing availability of reagents able to distinguish subtypes of lymphocytes and other leukocytes has enabled greater understanding of lymphocyte biology and pathology in the dog. Lymphocytes in circulation most commonly are subjected to immuno-phenotypic assessment by flow cytometry, but needle aspirates of lymph nodes can be similarly suitable for immunophenotypic examination. In this investigation, the feasibility of immunophenotyping samples obtained by needle aspiration of lymph nodes from 32 dogs with no physical abnormalities and 6 dogs with lymphoma was determined. In addition, samples from 6 dogs were stored overnight at 4oC and reanalyzed 24 hours later. For each sample, stained smear preparations were examined microscopically for lymphocyte morphology, neoplasia, and the presence of inflammatory cells. Expression of antigens on a corresponding sample of aspirated cells was determined by flow cytometric detection of antibody binding on a minimum of 10,000 events. The distribution of data was determined with Anderson-Darling tests, and reference intervals incorporating the central 95% of values were established. Adequate samples were obtained from 30 of 32 clinically normal dogs. Immunophenotypic results after 24 hours of storage were consistent with those obtained immediately after sampling. Reference intervals for lymphocyte subsets from normal dog lymph nodes were similar to the proportions of CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, and CD21 + lymphocytes found in blood. Aspirates of enlarged lymph nodes from dogs with lymphoma were readily classified by this technique. Aspiration of lymph nodes from dogs for comprehensive analysis by flow cytometry is feasible and applicable to immunophenotyping of lymphoma.