Veterinary Diagnostic Flow Cytometry Lab

The University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Flow Cytometry Lab provides high quality diagnostic flow cytometry services to all veterinarians, including local and national clients. Through flow cytometry, we seek to improve the diagnosis and classification of veterinary hematologic neoplasms so as to provide researchers, veterinarians, pet owners and their pets with the best diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic information.

Who can submit samples?

We accept samples from Veterinarians only. If you are a pet owner interested in diagnostic flow cytometry, we encourage you to work with your current veterinarian. If you are in need of veterinary services, please contact the UMN – Veterinary Medical Center.

Is there a fee?

Yes, review the fee schedule to determine what analysis service is best for you.

How to submit samples

Owing to the inherent fragility of viable cells, samples for flow cytometry need to be submitted to the laboratory within 24 hours of collection and kept cool (not frozen).

Submitting and tracking a sample follows a simple, two step process: preparation and shipment/delivery. Following the links below will guide you through the entire process.

Receive and understand results

Flow cytometry test results will be emailed to the address provided on the submission form. In addition to quantitative data, all reports will come with a written interpretation of the relevant findings.

What is flow cytometry and how is it used in veterinary oncology? 

Flow cytometry is an analytical tool used to quantify the physical characteristics (size, shape, etc.) and protein expression patterns of white blood cells, including those cells that cause lymphoma and leukemia. 

Flow cytometry is used to both diagnose lymphoma and leukemia and, in certain instances, provide subtype-specific prognostic information. For example, there are certain forms of lymphoma and leukemia that have a rapid clinical progression and certain forms that are slowly progressive. Flow cytometry can be used to identify these specific subtypes.

Other frequently asked questions

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What types of species do you test?

We currently offer flow cytometry testing for dogs and cats.

Can flow cytometry differentiate lymphoma from leukemia?

No. This differentiation is largely based upon the tissue distribution of tumor cells.

Can flow cytometry differentiate thymoma from lymphoma?

When is flow cytometry indicated?

Flow cytometry is useful in patients with suspected lymphoma, leukemia, or thymoma. This includes patients with unexplained:

  • Lymph node enlargement
  • Mediastinal masses (thymoma or lymphoma)
  • Organomegaly (spleen or liver)
  • Any sample with an increased number of lymphocytes
  • Thoracic and/or abdominal effusions
  • Bone marrow with atypical cells (including blasts) or a lymphocytosis
  • Peripheral blood lymphocytosis

Flow cytometry can provide useful prognostic information in patients previously diagnosed with lymphoma or leukemia (by either cytology or histopathology).