Although peripheral blood analysis has become increasingly automated, microscopy is the only available method for the diagnosis of anisocytosis and poikilocytosis. The aims of the study were to compare RBC volume data obtained with two different analysers and by manual assessment of smears and to compare this data between dogs in various stages of heart failure secondary to degenerative mitral valvular (DMV) disease. The impact of diuretic administration on RBC morphology was also assessed.
Material and Methods
Sixty-eight dogs, 56 in different stages of DMV disease and 12 as healthy controls, were studied. Impedance and flow cytometry haematological analyses were performed for each animal. Additionally, two smears were prepared for manual analysis. RBC structure, staining, and size differences were recorded.
There were no significant differences between the blood morphological parameters assessed using haematological analysers nor between dogs receiving diuretic treatment and those not treated. Based on the manual smear, significantly higher erythrocyte anisocytosis was observed in the dogs with symptomatic DMV disease than in the control group.
Haematological analysers based on impedance and flow cytometry provide reliable and comparable morphological results in dogs with heart failure. However, microscopic assessment of blood smears is a more reliable tool to detect erythrocyte anisocytosis.