Objective - To compare sensitivity and specificity of cytologic examination and 3 chromogen tests for detection of occult blood in cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) excrement. Animals - 20 adult cockatiels. Procedures - Pooled blood from birds was divided into whole blood and lysate aliquots. Excrement was mixed with each aliquot in vitro to yield 6 hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations (range, 0.375 to 12.0 mg of Hb/g of excrement). For the in vivo portion of the study, birds were serially gavaged with each aliquot separately at 5 doses of Hb (range, 2.5 to 40 mg/kg). Three chromogen tests and cytologic examination were used to test excrement samples for occult blood. Sensitivity, specificity, and observer agreement were calculated. Results - In vitro specificity ranged from 85% to 100% for the 3 chromogen tests and was 100% for cytologic examination. Sensitivity was 0% to 35% for cytologic examination and 100% for the 3 chromogen tests on samples containing ≥ 1.5 mg of Hb/g of excrement. In vivo specificity was 100%, 90%, 65%, and 45% for cytologic examination and the 3 chromogen tests, respectively. Sensitivity was 0% to 5% for cytologic examination and ≥ 75% for all 3 chromogen tests after birds received doses of Hb ≥ 20 mg/kg. Observer agreement was lowest for cytologic examination. Conclusions and clinical relevance - Chromogen tests were more useful than cytologic examination for detection of occult blood in cockatiel excrement. The best combination of sensitivity, specificity, and observer agreement was obtained by use of a chromogen test.
ASJC Scopus subject areas