Prepare a sample

To submit a sample, please complete the submission form (pdf) and prepare your samples using the information below. 

What species can you test?

We currently offer flow cytometry testing for dogs and cats.

Sample types and requirements

Flow cytometry requires living cells. Samples that are of very low cellularity or have very low numbers of abnormal cells may not be suitable for flow cytometry. Accepted sample types and requirements are explained in the table below:

Sample Requirements Other
Peripheral blood or bone marrow 0.5 mL of sample in EDTA (purple top tube) Recent (within 2 days) CBC is needed.
Tissue aspirate (LN, spleen, liver, etc…) 1 ml of saline + 0.1 ml of patient serum + sample A “cloudy” sample is the goal.
Body cavity fluid 0.5 mL of sample in EDTA (purple top tube) n/a

Collection details

Can I combine samples into one tube?

Yes. If you believe that the same disease process is affecting multiple tissues sites (multiple lymph nodes, for example), then aspirates from each site can be combined. If sampling sites are combined, we will be unable to provide you with tissue-specific diagnostic information.

Blood and bone marrow

Blood and bone marrow sample collection details

  • EDTA (purple top) tube with at least 500 µL of sample (ideally, more).
  • For peripheral blood samples, we need recent (with 2 days) CBC data.  
  • If a CBC has already been performed within this timeframe, please include (or email) a copy of the results. 
  • If a CBC is needed, please include a second EDTA tube and the CBC will be performed in the UMN Veterinary Clinical Pathology Laboratory (additional charges will apply).  
Solid tissue aspirates
  • Inject 1 ml of saline (PBS, 0.9% NaCL, or LRS) into a plain (red top) tube.
  • Add 0.1 ml of serum from the patient (or same species) to the red top tube.
  • Aspirate tissue site with suction (collect from multiple areas with multiple aspiration attempts) using standard tissue fine-needle-aspiration techniques.
  • Instill cells into the prepared red top tube.
  • Rinse sampling syringe by aspirating and flushing the sample multiple times.
  • The goal is to have a visibly turbid or blood sample.  

Aspirates from multiple tissue sites can be combined (if the same disease process is thought to be occurring in all sampled sites).

Blood cavity fluid
  • One EDTA (purple top) and one plain (red top) tube with at least 500 µL of sample (ideally, more).
  • If interested, a fluid analysis can be performed on the sample. This includes cell counts and microscopic evaluation. This requires an additional EDTA and plain tube (additional charges will apply).

If you have any questions please contact us at [email protected]