Diagnostic utility of aqueocentesis and aqueous humor analysis in dogs and cats with anterior uveitis

K. Tomo Wiggans, William Vernau, Michael R. Lappin, Sara M Thomasy, David J Maggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate diagnostic utility of aqueous humor analysis in animals with anterior uveitis. Animals: Client-owned dogs (n = 12) and cats (n = 10). Procedures: Examination findings and diagnostic test results including aqueous humor cytology were compared. Results: Disease duration prior to aqueocentesis was not significantly different between dogs with idiopathic anterior uveitis and those with an etiologic diagnosis, but was shorter in cats with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) than those with idiopathic uveitis. Microbial nucleic acids, antigens, or antibodies against them were seldom found in blood/serum; however, serum feline coronavirus titers ≥1:6400 were detected only in cats with FIP. Aqueous humor cytology was diagnostic in no cats and two dogs, both with neoplasia. Although aqueous humor contained predominantly neutrophils in cats with FIP and large reactive lymphocytes and plasma cells appeared more frequent in cats with idiopathic uveitis, neither clinical nor cytologic assessment of anterior chamber contents differed significantly between cats with idiopathic or FIP-associated uveitis. Cytologically assessed plasma cell number was correlated with keratic precipitates and disease duration. Clinically detectable hyphema and cytologic erythrocyte number were correlated. However, cytologic cell grades and clinical grade of flare or cell numbers within the anterior chamber were not correlated. Conclusions: Aqueous humor cytology permitted diagnosis of neoplasia in dogs with anterior uveitis but was generally not helpful in cats. Poor correlation between clinical and cytologic assessment of cell numbers and type within the anterior chamber dictates that clinical grading should not be the sole criterion for electing to perform aqueocentesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-220
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Ophthalmology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Clinical pathology
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Feline infectious peritonitis
  • Infectious disease
  • Iridocyclitis
  • Neoplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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