General principles of interpretation: what to look for and pitfalls to avoid

Cytology is one of the most powerful tools for the general practitioner. It is fast, cheap and not a very hard skill to master. It is most suitable when done by the clinician during the consultation. 

As with all skills, practice makes perfect. So let’s go through some real life examples of cytology slides, like you would make and evaluate in your daily practice.

In this cytology series we will start with the general principles of interpretation: distinction between inflammation and neoplastic lesions and the assessment of malignancy in tumours. An organized and logical system for the approach to cytology samples will be proposed and illustrated.

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Johan Van Leuven

Jo(han) Van Leuven graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University (Belgium) in 1986. After his military service he started a small animal practice in his home town Mol. In 1994 he founded the “Dierenartsenpraktijk De Meren”, together with his collegue Jos Vanbroekhoven. This practice has grown into a veterinary center with 6 veterinarians and 2 technicians. Next to first line small animal practice, he specialises in dermatology and cytology. In 1998 he gained the Certificate in Veterinary Dermatology from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the UK. Since 2015 he is employed as clinical biologist and cytologist at Velab, a veterinary diagnostic laboratory in Herentals (Belgium), while still working part time in practice. He is treasurer of the Flemisch Studygroup in Veterinary Dermatology and member of the European Society of Veterinary Dermatology and the European Society of Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

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