Clinical Pathology Services

Hematology

Hematology is the study of the cellular components of blood, including red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs) and platelets The CPMPSR offers:

  • a complete automated blood count with WBC differential (CBC w/diff),
  • a manual differential from a stained blood smear, and/or
  • preparation of a blood smear, stained or unstained

A complete CBC w/differential requires a minimum of 30 μL of whole blood collected in an EDTA-coated tube (lavender top) at room temperature and submitted to the lab as soon as possible after collection to ensure valid results.

The complete blood count, or CBC, is performed on an automated analyzer and quantitates the cellular make-up of the blood in terms of the absolute and relative numbers (%) of RBCs (red blood cells), WBCs (white blood cells), and platelets per sample volume. Also included in the report is a more in-depth analysis of specific RBC and platelet indices such as PCV (packed cell volume or hematocrit), hemoglobin, and MCV (mean corpuscular volume), among others.  Abnormal values are frequently indicative of disease processes, although values can also differ according to species, strain, sex and age as well as to husbandry conditions and stress.

Manual differentials are performed by a trained medical technician on stained blood smears to complement the automated CBC. Manual evaluation of blood smears are performed to ensure correlation with automated counts and to detect morphological cellular changes such as abnormal shapes, structural remnants, parasites or viral inclusions.

Blood smears are prepaired manually, air-dried, and stained with standard Wright Giemsa.

Serum Chemistry

Serum chemistry, or clinical chemistry, is the analysis of the blood serum or plasma for levels of electrolytes, enzymes, lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, blood gases, and metabolic products. The process is automated. As with the CBC, abnormal values are frequently indicative of disease processes, although values can also differ according to husbandry conditions, stress, species, strain, sex, and age.

The CPMPSR offers several standard panels which include:

  1. Comprehensive profile
    • albumin
    • alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
    • alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
    • amylase
    • aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
    • blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
    • calcium
    • chloride
    • cholesterol
    • creatinine
    • creatinine kinase (CK)
    • gammaglutamyl transferase (GGT)
    • globulins
    • glucose
    • lipase
    • phosphorus
    • potassium
    • sodium
    • total bilirubin
    • total protein
    • trigylceride
  2. Cardiac/lipid panel
    • cholesterol (total)
    • lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)
    • HDL and/or LDL
    • creatinine kinase (CK)
    • triglyceride
  3. Electrolytes
    • chloride
    • potassium
    • sodium
  4. Renal panel
    • albumin
    • globulin
    • glucose
    • blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
    • phosphorus
    • calcium
    • potassium
    • chloride
    • sodium
    • cholesterol
    • total protein
    • uric acid
    • creatinine
  5. Hepatic panel
    • albumin
    • alkaline phosphataes (ALP)
    • alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
    • aspartate aminotranferase (AST)
    • direct bilirubin
    • indirect bilirubin
    • total bilirubin
    • gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT)
    • globulin
    • total protein

Single tests can also be ordered and any of the above panels can be adjusted to the individual needs of the PI. We encourage prompt submission of sera, but serum refrigerated for a short period of time or frozen may still yield valid results for some tests.

Urinalysis

Urinalysis is the evaluation of urine collected by free-catch, manual expression, or cytocentesis by dip stick for several parameters such as pH and metabolic products, by refractometry for specific gravity, and by visual inspection of sediment. Ideally, urine is collected in sterile receptacles and submitted as soon as possible, but, if necessary, clean urine can be stored refrigerated overnight. Degradation increases over time and may adversely influence the analysis results, even with refrigeration; freezing is discouraged if cellular elements are an important factor. Although approximately 1 ml of clean urine is required for complete analysis, selected parameters can be tested on smaller volumes. If necessary, urine may be pooled from multiple mice providing they are of the same strain and genotype, age, sex, and treatment (if applicable).

Bronchioalveolar lavage (BAL)/fluid analysis

Bronchioalveolar lavage (BAL)/fluid analysis is an examination of the cellular components of fluids collected from tracheal washes, pleural effusions, abdominal ascites, cystic structures, etc. Automated cell counts and/or cytospins are stained to delineate and characterize cellularity. Fluid analysis requires about 1 ml of sample for accurate interpretation, and, while fresh specimens are preferred, samples refrigerated overnight may still yield valid results.

Cytology

Cytology is the assessment of cells collected by aspiration and swabs, as well as slide smears or imprints, from superficial or internal tissues or lesions and typically complements a fluid analysis. Cytological specimens are stained and evaluated by light microscopy.