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DIAG204-0905: Veterinary Cytology & Fluid Analysis : What Can You Learn From a Smear of Schmutz

Joyce S. Knoll, VMD, PhD, DACVP (Clinical Pathology)
Perry Bain, DVM, PhD, DACVP (Clinical Pathology)
Denise Wunn, DVM, DACVP (Clinical Pathology)
Deborah Davis, DVM, DACVP (Clinical Pathology)

September 13 - October 25, 2005
Interactive Sessions : Tuesday evenings; 9/13, 9/20, 9/27,10/4, 10/11; 10/18 ; 9:00- 11:00 PM ET (USA)

Course Description : Collection and evaluation of a cytology preparation can be a quick, relatively noninvasive way to obtain information about a lesion or effusion. This course is designed to provide veterinarians with detailed information on collection and interpretation of these samples.

This course will consist of six (6), 2 hr real-time sessions, detailed presentations with numerous images, and library materials provided on all topics. There will be interactive message board discussions (including occasional mystery cases) and a multiple choice "final exam" designed to enhance material retention.

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be:

  1. Familiar with cytologic techniques and common artifacts.
  2. Familiar with the strengths and limitations of cytologic techniques
  3. Able to distinguish between inflammation, hyperplasia and neoplasia
  4. Able to diagnose common round cell tumors and identify distinctive epithelial & mesenchymal tumors
Course Outline:

Week 1: Sample Collection, Handling, and Introduction to Artifacts

Content: This section will review a variety of techniques, including fine needle aspiration, squash preparation, impression smears, and buffy coat smear preparation. In addition, the common artifacts that can make interpretation of cytology preparations such a challenge will be illustrated.

Week 2: Inflammatory lesions

Content: This section will explain how to distinguish between the different types of inflammatory reactions (e.g. suppurative, granulomatous, eosinophilic) and will present possible causes of each. A variety of etiologic agents including some types of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa will be illustrated.

Week 3: Cutaneous masses

Content: The cytologic characteristics of epithelial and mesenchymal tumors will be illustrated in this section, along with the distinguishing features of the classic round cell tumors. The cytologic criteria of malignancy will be discussed along with the limitations of these features in predicting the malignant potential of some tumor types.

Week 4: Lymphoid tissues

Content: This section will illustrate the cytologic features that help distinguish normal lymph node from a reactive lymph node, lymphoma from a metastatic neoplasm. The cytologic features of splenic and thymic lesions will also be discussed.

Week 5: Fluid Analysis

Content: This section will discuss how to analyze abdominal, thoracic, pericardial and synovial fluid, and illustrate the cell types commonly encountered in these effusions, including the notorious reactive mesothelial cells. The effusion classification scheme will be reviewed, with a discussion of how these classifications can be used to narrow down your differential diagnoses.

Week 6: Miscellaneous cytology cases

Content: This section will present a variety of mystery cases that provide a chance for you to develop your eye for morphologic features and hone your cytologic skills.

Discussions will begin on the start date of the course and will continue for 7 days following the real time session.


Member/$184, Non-Member/$270 by August 30th, 2005;
Member/$204, Non-Member/$300 after August 30th, 2005;

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COURSE WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND POLICY: Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VIN CE course, whichever is preferred. Withdrawal within 1 week after the listed start date (i.e. including no more than one real-time session) entitles the registrant to a credit toward any future VIN CE course. (Does not apply to courses with only one real-time session.) After the first real-time session, a registrant may withdraw due to special circumstances and receive prorated credit towards a future VIN course. These requests will be handled on an individual basis. The amount of the prorated credit will be determined based on 65% of the time remaining in the course at the time of withdrawal. It is not possible to withdraw retroactively. Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO.

Debbie Friedler
Continual Education Division
Veterinary Information Network


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