Morphological evaluation of canine platelets on Giemsa- and PAS-stained blood smears.

Research paper by Dóra D Halmay, P P Sótonyi, P P Vajdovich, T T Gaál

Indexed on: 15 Sep '05Published on: 15 Sep '05Published in: Acta veterinaria Hungarica


The morphology of canine platelets (changes in size, shape, staining characteristics, degree of activation and clump formation, distribution of granules, appearance of vacuoles on Giemsa-stained smears) was investigated in 20 healthy control and 181 diseased dogs. In the group of the sick dogs 84 animals suffered from disorders affecting directly the haematological parameters or the haematopoietic organs such as bleeding, thymic haemorrhage, haemolytic disorders, lymphoma, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, and other 97 dogs were affected by other diseases (hepatopathy, nephropathy, hepatic, splenic or intestinal neoplasm, skin diseases, diabetes mellitus, Cushing's syndrome, sepsis). The alterations found in platelet morphology were not specific for any disorder. The most common platelet abnormalities were polychromasia and the presence of giant platelets. These changes occurred in a high number in disorders accompanied by bleeding or haemolysis. Anisocytosis was the most frequent finding in hepatic, splenic or intestinal neoplasms and in certain endocrinopathies. Microcytosis was observed in immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, hepatic neoplasms and endocrine disorders. Extreme platelet activation was common in haemolysis, hepatopathies, neoplastic diseases and sepsis. Vacuolisation was present in thymic haemorrhage, pancreatitis, diabetes mellitus and Cushing's syndrome. A new morphologic phenomenon, i.e. a ring-like formation of granules, was described in the cytoplasm of the platelets both in healthy and diseased animals. In addition, two forms of pathologic granulation were also described for the first time in Giemsa-stained blood smears: the pseudonuclear and the spot-like formation of granules, which were observed especially in disorders affecting the blood cells. The granulation and morphological characteristics of platelets on smears stained by periodic acid-Schiff reaction (PAS) were also studied. Three localisations of granulation were observed, such as peripheral, eccentric and diffuse. The ratio of PAS-positive and -negative platelets was evaluated in several diseases. Our findings support the diagnostic value of platelet evaluation by light microscopy and help clinicians/clinical pathologists to understand why morphologic changes of thrombocytes might be expected in several diseases.