Practical cytology for inflammatory skin diseases

Clin Tech Small Anim Pract. 2006 Aug;21(3):117-27. doi: 10.1053/j.ctsap.2006.05.004.


Cytology is the most common and immediately informative diagnostic tool in the practice of dermatology. It is simple to perform and requires equipment usually already present in most practices such as a microscope and slides, cotton-tipped applicators and stains. Cytology interpretation is also easily self taught. With little practice the practitioner can easily become familiar with sample interpretation from inflammatory lesions; including recognition of bacteria, yeast, dermatophyte spores and hyphae, deeper fungal elements and parasites. Additionally, the practitioner should become familiar with the variety of inflammatory cells seen with these conditions, as well as keratinocyte morphology. This article provides an overview and the initial steps on how to become a more proficient cytologist in practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cat Diseases / pathology
  • Cats
  • Cytological Techniques / instrumentation
  • Cytological Techniques / methods
  • Cytological Techniques / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / pathology
  • Dogs
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious / diagnosis
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious / pathology
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious / veterinary*
  • Staining and Labeling / veterinary