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Cytology Solutions for General Practitioners

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Sponsored by Zoetis 

Most veterinarians would agree that the current demand for services outpaces what they can reasonably provide. A recent report by the American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that many practices are stretched to their limits, despite the fact that veterinarians are not necessarily seeing more patients.1 Technology plays an important role in allowing veterinarians to provide excellent care without placing more demand on their teams. The Zoetis Vetscan Imagyst® system is an image capture and recognition platform offering multiple testing applications that can improve efficiency, clients’ perception of value, and quality of care in general practice.

Buster: A Case Study

Buster, an 8-year-old, neutered male Labrador retriever, was presented for a wellness examination. Buster was doing well at home, up-to-date on preventive care, and had an unremarkable history. On physical examination, Buster was bright, alert, and responsive, with a BCS of 3/5, pink and moist mucous membranes, and a CRT <2 sec. Buster had heavy dental calculus, a slab fracture of his left maxillary fourth premolar, moderate gingivitis, and bilaterally enlarged submandibular lymph nodes. Thoracic auscultation and abdominal palpation were within normal limits. With the exception of mild crepitus in his right hip, the remainder of Buster’s physical examination was unremarkable.

A CBC and serum chemistry profile were run on the practice’s in-house analyzers. Buster’s fecal sample was centrifuged, then read by the Vetscan Imagyst system, which uses artificial intelligence to identify parasites. All test results were within normal limits.

The veterinarian recommended a dental cleaning and extraction of the fractured tooth but first wanted to determine whether Buster’s lymphadenopathy was reactive or indicative of other disease. Buster’s owner, concerned Buster was in pain from his tooth, was hesitant to authorize lymph node aspiration. She recalled a prior experience in which she had waited anxiously for cytology results, postponing other diagnostics and treatment, only to find that the sample had been non-diagnostic. The veterinarian advised Buster’s owner that the practice had recently acquired a new system that allowed them to send cytology images to a board-certified clinical pathologist and receive a report within a matter of hours. Based on this information, Buster’s owner consented to aspiration and left Buster at the hospital for a few hours.

The Vetscan Imagyst system was used to transfer slide images to a veterinary clinical pathologist, and a full pathology report was received <2 hours later.

The veterinarian aspirated both submandibular lymph nodes, and the slides were stained. The Vetscan Imagyst system was used to transfer slide images to a veterinary clinical pathologist, and a full cytology report was received <2 hours later. This report confirmed a diagnosis of reactive lymphadenopathy and included the clinical pathologist’s email address and telephone number for follow-up.

The veterinarian contacted Buster’s owner with his results. When his owner arrived to pick him up, she scheduled his dental procedure for the practice’s next available surgical opening.

Zoetis Vetscan Imagyst System

Although cytology is a relatively straightforward test, it can be a time-consuming test. In many practices, the veterinarian first views the sample in-house in the hopes of obtaining a diagnosis in a timely manner. If the results are unclear, the slides are sent to a clinical pathologist. Obtaining cytology results may take a week or more, limiting the benefit of cytology in time-sensitive cases.

Vetscan Imagyst provides rapid access to board-certified veterinary clinical pathologists for cytology. Slide images are submitted electronically, with results available within hours. In addition, Vetscan Imagyst’s artificial intelligence can be used to read fecal samples, recognizing several parasite ova and Giardia spp, freeing up the veterinary team to perform other tasks. In 2022, artificial intelligence will also allow Imagyst to read blood smears, with multiple other applications planned for the future.

Reference

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