Utility of Spleen and Liver Cytology in Staging of Canine Mast Cell Tumors. Academic Article uri icon


  • Abdominal ultrasound with spleen and liver cytology is part of routine staging for canine mast cell tumors (MCTs). However, such tests are associated with increased morbidity and cost. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine if spleen cytology was predictive of liver cytology in canine MCTs and if any patient or tumor variables were associated with spleen and/or liver metastasis. Records of dogs with MCTs and cytology of spleen and liver were reviewed. Two hundred five patients were included. Overall, 22 (10.7%) patients had metastasis, with 21 (10.2%) and 13 (6.3%) having spleen and liver metastasis, respectively, and 12 (5.9%) having both. For patients with a positive (or negative) spleen cytology, the odds ratio of having a positive (or negative) liver cytology was 233.49. However, a negative spleen cytology had a higher predictive value (0.99) than a positive cytology (0.54). Finally, the presence of local and systemic signs and tumor size were associated with spleen, liver, and/or spleen or liver metastasis. These results suggest that spleen cytology is predictive of liver cytology in staging of canine MCTs, and increasing tumor size and presence of local or systemic signs are associated with an increased risk of visceral metastasis.

published proceedings

  • J Am Anim Hosp Assoc

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Brown, M., Hokamp, J., Selmic, L. E., & Kovac, R.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Brown, Megan||Hokamp, Jessica||Selmic, Laura E||Kovac, Rachel

publication date

  • July 2022