Chemistry, Cytology and Coagulation Submission


Allow blood to clot in red top serum tube for 20-30 minutes. Do not use serum separator tubes for chemistry tests.

Centrifuge the tube, remove serum and place in a plastic tube. Samples must be removed from the clot within 30 minutes of sampling to prevent deterioration of the sample for chemical analyses.


Include a brief history, description and location of the biopsy site.

Never expose cytology smears to formalin fumes as this will alter stainability of the slides making them unreadable. Always ship cytology specimens separately from formalin-fixed tissues (i.e. place in separate sealed plastic bags). Slides should be labeled with a pencil and include the owner's last name, date of collection and source.

Specimen information:

  • Fresh tissue - Submit 2-5 freshly prepared smears in a slide holder. Do not stain or fix the slides.
  • Fluid analysis - Collect the fluid in a syringe and immediately make several fresh smears of the fluid. Place the remaining fluid in an EDTA tube to avoid clotting. The fluid should be refrigerated and shipped on frozen gel packs to avoid cellular degeneration. Do not stain or fix the slides.
  • Urine sediment - Spin down the urine immediately and remove the supernatant. Place a drop of the sediment on several slides and let air dry. Do not stain or fix the slides. Samples obtained via cystocentesis are preferred.
  • Lymph nodes and joints - Submission of several sites is always recommended to assist in complete evaluation of the patient.
  • Bone marrow aspirate and cores - Submit a minimum of 2-5 unstained, unfixed smears plus a peripheral blood smear drawn on the same day as the aspirate. Fix the core specimen in 10% buffered formalin and ship separately from the aspirate. Submit remnant EDTA bone marrow aspirate specimen with smears.


  • A careful venipuncture must be obtained to avoid hemolysis.
  • Fill a 3.2% sodium citrate tube (blue top tube) to the level of the designated fill line. Under or over-filling of tubes will invalidate results.
  • Mix the tube by inverting it several times and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Centrifuge for 10 minutes and remove the plasma using a plastic syringe or pipette.
  • Citrated samples should be frozen and submitted on frozen gel packs.