Blood film review

Preferred Sample

Blood smear on slides



Acceptable Samples

EDTA whole blood


Days Tested


Turnaround Time

Same day results if received by 1:00 p.m.


Evaluation of a blood smear to provide morphologic confirmation of hematologic parameters, assurance of the quality of values obtained from automated analyzers, and additional interpretive evaluation by a pathologist along with a white blood cell estimate and count, red blood cell evaluation and platelet estimate/evaluation by technician.


Bovine | Canine | Feline | Equine | Ovine | Caprine | Porcine | Wildlife Exotic | Other

Additional Instructions

EDTA is the preferred anticoagulant for blood used in cytologic preparations. The liquid form of EDTA disperses more rapidly in samples and may be preferable to the powder form, particularly with feline blood, but both forms of EDTA preserve general cellular morphology in refrigerated samples for up to 4 hours. Whole blood anticoagulated with heparin (green top) is a relatively poor preservative of cellular morphology and staining characteristics. The anticoagulant citrate (blue top) may be used to evaluate cell morphology on blood smears; however, the required 10% sample dilution interferes with cell count estimates. Alternatively, blood without an anticoagulant may be placed directly from the collection needle onto the slide. This is preferred if sample volume is limited.