BACKGROUND: Integrating immunohistochemistry (IHC) and clonality testing with histopathology may improve the ability to differentiate inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and alimentary small cell lymphoma (LSA) in cats.
HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the utility of histopathology, IHC, and clonality testing to differentiate between IBD and LSA and agreement of diagnostic results for endoscopic biopsy (EB) samples from the upper (USI) and lower small intestine (LSI).
ANIMALS: Fifty-seven cats with IBD or LSA.
METHODS: All cases were categorized as definitive IBD (DefIBD), possible LSA (PossLSA), probable LSA (ProbLSA), or definitive LSA (DefLSA) based on histopathology alone. Results from IHC and clonality testing were integrated.
RESULTS: Based on histopathology alone, 24/57 (42.1%), 15/57 (26.3%), and 18/57 (31.6%) cats were diagnosed with DefIBD, PossLSA or ProbLSA, and DefLSA, respectively. After integrating IHC and clonality testing, 11/24 cases (45.8%) and 15/15 cases (100%) previously categorized as DefIBD and PossLSA or ProbLSA, respectively, were reclassified as LSA. A final diagnosis of IBD and LSA was reported in 13/57 (22.8%) and 44/57 (77.2%) cats, respectively. Agreement between USI and LSI samples was moderate based on histopathology alone (κ = 0.66) and after integrating IHC and clonality testing (κ = 0.70). However, only 1/44 (2.3%) of the LSA cases was diagnosed based on LSI biopsy alone.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Integrating IHC and clonality testing increased the number of cases diagnosed with LSA, but the consequence for patient outcome is unclear. There was moderate agreement between USI and LSI samples. Samples from the LSI rarely changed the diagnosis.