Name the different sampling techniques
Fine needle aspirate
What is a fine needle aspirate useful for analysing?
What are the advantages to performing a fine needle aspirate?
Quick and cheap to perform
Often requires no sedation for superficial tissues
Can be done with/without ultrasound guidance
What kinds of fine needle aspirate methods are there?
Why would you use different methods for a fine needle aspirate?
With aspiration is ideal for tissues with more structure to them e.g. soft tissue sarcomas
Without aspiration is better used for vascular or soft tissues e.g. spleen, lymph nodes
What are impression smears useful for?
Samples from excised masses
What would you use a tape strip to sample?
Most often for skin cytology
Especially for infectious agents such as Malassezia pachydermatis
What is the recommended technique for performing a swab sample?
First moisten swab with saline
Use gentle rolling motion to apply to microscope slide
What should be avoided when performing a swab sample?
Do not rub collected cells onto microscope slide as this is likely to rupture them
What could a swab sample be used for?
Skin cytology including ears
What could be potentially seen when viewing blood microscopically?
Which sampling method is most appropriate for obtaining small samples of cells from inside organs or masses?
Fine needle aspirate
When is a fine needle aspirate considered inappropriate?
In patients with a coagulation defect or from highly vascular masses
When is a fine needle biopsy most appropriate?
For highly exfoliative tissues or those that will not require aspiration
When is a fine needle aspirate biopsy most appropriate?
For tissues that don't exfoliate well e.g. muscle and spindle cell masses
Which technique might you use to sample ulcerated masses, burst pustules or for obtaining samples from the cut surface of a mass?
What is the recommendation for staining samples taken from a greasy area such as the ear?
It helps to gently heat-fix the slide by warming its underside with a hairdryer/radiator
How should samples be sent off to a laboratory?
Slides should be unstained, labelled with patient name, number and date and packaged into a slide carrier to prevent damage
Which samples should be packaged separately and why?
Cytological samples should be kept separate from histopathological samples to prevent the fixing formalin fumes from destroying the cytology
What considerations would be made when studying a urine sample microscopically?
Presence of CaOx monohydrate crystals
What size needle is used for performing a fine needle/aspirate biopsy?