Skeldon NC, Gerber KL, Wilson RJ et al: Mastocytaemia in cats: prevalence, detection and quantification methods, haematological associations and potential implications in 30 cats with mast cell tumours, J Feline Med Surg 12:960, 2010.
Mast cell tumors (MCT) exhibit a different biologic behavior in cats than in dogs. Most authors believe the majority of tumors are benign in cats. Mastocytemia, large numbers of mast cells in the blood, appears exclusively associated with MCT in cats. In this study, it was found that 43% of the cats examined with mast cell disease had mastocytemia. Direct blood film examination and/or buffy coat (BC) preparations from blood are the primary methods used to diagnose mastocytemia. BC examination was considered the best screening method for detection while direct blood film examination was more accurate in detecting the degree of mastocytemia. The authors believe BC examination should be mandatory in all known or suspected cases of MCT, or in cats with splenomegaly or vomiting of undetermined cause. Additional findings in this study were that 10% of cats had concurrent cutaneous and visceral MCT. Also, mastocytemic cats with MCT had a significantly lower hematocrit than cats without mastocytemia. [VT]