Quantitation of reticulated platelets in healthy dogs and in nonthrombocytopenic dogs with clinical disease. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Thrombocytopenia is a common disorder in dogs and development of an objective diagnostic assay to measure platelets newly released from bone marrow into the blood would provide a noninvasive way to predict megakaryocytopoiesis. Reticulated platelets are newly released platelets with increased concentrations of RNA that can be detected by flow cytometric analysis of blood stained with thiazole orange (TO). OBJECTIVE: The goals of this study were to establish a reproducible method to quantitate reticulated platelets in dogs, to establish a reference interval for reticulated platelet percentages in healthy dogs, and to determine whether the percentage of reticulated platelets was nonspecifically increased in nonthrombocytopenic dogs with clinical disease. METHODS: Blood samples were obtained from healthy dogs and from nonthrombocytopenic dogs presented for a variety of disorders. An aliquot of whole blood was stained with TO and a phycoerythrin-labeled monoclonal antibody to platelet CD61, then analyzed by flow cytometry. RESULTS: The coefficients of variation were 7.8% to 15.6% (intra-assay precision) and 6.1% to 19.5% (interassay precision). Overnight storage for 18 to 26 hours, under variable conditions, resulted in an increase in the percentage of platelets staining with TO. The reference interval for reticulated platelets in the healthy control group was 0-4.3% (0-12,095/microL). No significant differences were found in the mean percentage of reticulated platelets or absolute concentration of reticulated platelets between control and affected dogs. CONCLUSIONS: These studies demonstrate a reliable, noninvasive diagnostic assay for measurement of reticulated platelets in whole blood and provide a baseline for assessment of the clinical utility of the assay.

published proceedings

  • Vet Clin Pathol

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, R., & Thomas, J. S.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Smith, Roger||Thomas, Jennifer S

publication date

  • March 2002