Uterine endometrial cytology, biopsy, bacteriology, and serum C-reactive protein in clinically healthy diestrus bitches.

Affiliation

Cátedra y Servicio de Reproducción Animal, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Nacional de La Plata (FCV-UNLP), Calle 60 y 118, La Plata, Argentina. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

The aim of this work was to assess the agreement between endometrial cytology and uterine biopsy for the diagnosis of endometritis (END), the bacterial populations isolated from the vagina and uterus of bitches having END, and the measurement of C- reactive protein as a diagnostic tool for diagnosis of END in clinically healthy bitches. Fifty privately-owned intact, clinically healthy bitches, in diestrus, without a history of progestin administration, aged between 8 months and 6 years old and weighing between 5 and 28 kg were used in this study. Bitches were included in a program for breeding control at a municipal pet public shelter. Before ovariohysterectomy (OVX) samples for vaginal cytology and bacteriology, and blood samples were taken. After OVX endometrial cytology, bacteriological samples and biopsy were collected. Histologic examination was performed to confirm the uterine condition. Blood samples were centrifuged and stored at -20 °C until progesterone (P4) and C-reactive protein was measured. Samples for bacteriological culture were collected, and swabs were placed into Stuart's transport medium and transported to the laboratory. On histopathologic examination, the most common observation was END (27/50), followed by normal endometrium (NE; 18/50), cystic endometrial hyperplasia (CEH; 2/50), atrophy (2/50) and fibrosis with degeneration of the endometrial glands (1/50). Low degree of agreement was observed between results obtained by endometrial cytology samples and results obtained by biopsy in endometrial diagnosis (Kappa Coefficient: -0.19). In vaginal samples, β-hemolytic Streptococcus, Staphylococcus spp., Escherichia coli, Proteus spp., Corynebacterium spp., and Klebsiella pneumoniae were the bacteria most often found. In uterine samples, only four samples from END showed bacterial grow. C-reactive protein frequency was higher in END (6/23, 23%) vs NE (0/16, 0%; Van der Waerden P-value = 0,0302). Our results support the hypothesis that END is a frequent finding in uterine biopsy and could be associated with subfertility and infertility in the bitch. A low degree of agreement was observed between the diagnostic results from the uterine biopsy and endometrial cytology. Bacteriology would not be recommended as a diagnostic tool because no bacteria highly associated with uterine diseases were isolated from bitches with END. Finally, the usefulness of C-reactive protein concentration as a marker for END in bitches could not be conclusively demonstrated.