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Vet Clin Pathol. 1999;28(4):142-146.

Sensitivity and specificity of cytologic evaluation in the diagnosis of neoplasia in body fluids from dogs and cats.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Munich, Munich, Germany.


Sensitivity and specificity were determined for the cytologic detection of malignant tumors in canine and feline body cavity effusions. In a prospective study, 424 body cavity effusions from dogs and cats were collected and evaluated, including 70 pleural and 163 peritoneal effusions from dogs, and 77 pleural and 114 peritoneal effusions from cats. Final diagnoses were confirmed in 339 of the 424 cases by clinical follow-up, necropsy, and in the case of malignant tumors, Histopathology. Malignant tumors were found in 18% of canine and 25% of feline body cavity effusions. Approximately one-half of tumors in both dogs and cats were carcinomas. Discrete cell tumors accounted for 56% of feline neoplastic effusions. The sensitivity of cytologic evaluation for the detection of malignant tumors in body cavity effusions was 64% for dogs and 61% for cats. Specificity was 99% for canine and 100% for feline effusions. Sensitivity and specificity were comparable to those obtained with cytologic evaluation of human samples.


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