Canine spleen and lymph nodes - sampling for flow cytometry

golden retriever dog nose up closeStudy title: Defining the flow cytometric characteristics of normal and diseased canine spleen and visceral lymph nodes
Current Status: Active and enrolling
Principal Investigator: Courtney Johnson, DVM (joh02887@umn.edu)
Contact: Courtney Johnson (above) or 612-626-8387 (VMC main number)

Study Purpose:

Flow cytometry is an increasingly used, minimally-invasive test that can assist in the diagnosis of lymphoma and leukemia. However, this test has not been fully validated using spleen or visceral lymph node samples. Through this study, by using flow cytometry, we hope to improve our ability to diagnose lymphoma and leukemia, thus improving treatment decisions & patient outcome.

Eligible dogs:

  • 24 months of age or older
  • Undergoing an ultrasound or CT scan in which spleen or lymph node sampling may be indicated

Study summary:

  • Your pet will be humanely treated at all times and all investigative procedures will be performed using the customary methods applied to all other client-owned patients at the VMC.
  • During your pet’s scheduled imaging study (either abdominal ultrasound or CT), additional aspiration samples will be collected from your dog’s spleen and/or internal lymph nodes. These additional samples will ONLY be collected if your pet’s attending clinician deems that such samples are needed as part of your pet’s diagnostic process.
  • If the clinician does NOT deem sampling necessary or feels that it is unsafe, your pet will NOT be enrolled.
  • The aspiration of spleen and/or lymph nodes is a very common and well-tolerated procedure. The risk involved in organ aspiration is extremely low, but may include mild bleeding at the sampling site.
  • The diagnostic test being evaluated (flow cytometry) will be performed free-of-charge. The results of this test will be reported to your pet’s attending clinician and may help guide your pet’s medical care.
  • Additionally, your contribution will help to improve our ability to diagnose cancer in veterinary patients. In the future, we may use this technique to help guide prognosis and therapy.
  • Your participation in the study is entirely voluntary and you may withdraw your pet at any time without any effect on your relationship with the Veterinary Medical center. Choosing not to participate will involve no penalty or loss of benefits. Your pet may also be withdrawn from the study if your veterinarian finds it necessary and/or in your pet’s best interest.

Costs of the study:

  • Costs for flow cytometry, PARR, and additional sampling will be covered by this study.
  • Costs for any other blood tests, examination fees, or other medical or surgical procedures done at the VMC will be incurred by the client.

To learn more or to enroll, please contact Dr. Courtney Johnson (above).