Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Blood smear: preparation

Synonym(s): Hematology

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd

Introduction

  • Blood smears are simple to perform and can provide useful information.
  • Blood smears allow assessment of: platelet counts, white blood cell differential counts and morphology, red blood cell morphology.
  • Blood smears may allow definitive diagnosis of blood parasites, eg Babesia bovis.
  • Blood smears may allow characterization of hematological disorders which will assist in definitive diagnoses.

Uses

  • Indicated in:
    • Suspected cases of anemia, thrombocytopenia, blood parasites or leukemia.
    • Suspected inflammatory disease (of infectious or immune-mediated origin).
    • As an adjunct to in-house hematology analyzers.

Advantages

  • Very rapid simple technique requiring minimal equipment.
  • Can be performed with very small volumes of blood.
  • Accurate assessment of cell morphology which may be affected by storage or transport.

Disadvantages

  • Must use clean slides to avoid holes appearing in the smear (grease spots).
  • Smear must be rapidly air dried to ensure that cell morphology is preserved.

Materials required

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Procedure

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Reasons for non-diagnostic smears

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

Other sources of information

  • Davidson M G, Else R W & Lumsden J H (1998) In: BSAVA Manual of Clinical Pathology. BSAVA, Cheltenham.
  • Meyer D & Harvey J (1998) Interpretation and Diagnosis. In: Veterinary Laboratory Medicine. 2nd edn. Philadelphia: W B Saunders.
  • Willard M D, Tvedten H & Turnwald G H (1994) In: Small Animal Clinical Diagnosis by Laboratory Methods. 2nd edn. Philadelphia: W B Saunders.
  • Jain N C (1993) In: Essentials of Veterinary Hematology. Ed N C Jain. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger.
  • Bush B M (1975) In: Veterinary Laboratory Manual. London: William Heinemann Medical Books Ltd.


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