Specialized hematology tests

M M Christopher, J W Harvey
Seminars in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (small Animal) 1992, 7 (4): 301-10
In conclusion, many specialized tests for the evaluation of anemia and RBC abnormalities can readily be performed in-house or by commercial laboratories. Tests include RBC indices, examination of blood smears (for morphological changes, infectious agents, basophilic stippling, and polychromasia), reticulocyte counts, iron stains, serum iron determinations, Heinz body counts, and methemoglobin tests. These diagnostic tests should routinely be used for the evaluation of hematologic abnormalities that are detected by a CBC. Accurate interpretation of test results will provide vital information on the pathophysiological and/or etiologic mechanisms of disease and point the way to successful therapeutic intervention. Failure to adequately resolve some hematologic abnormalities, particularly in breeds in which heritable disease is a consideration, may require additional tests, including serum haptoglobin, ferritin and erythropoietin measurement, or assays for RBC enzymes, such as methemoglobin reductase, PK, and PFK. These tests usually are available only through research laboratories or hematology specialists, and it is advisable to consult with a veterinary clinical pathologist for referral to the appropriate individual or laboratory.

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