Date of this Version
J. Maurer, B. Reichenberg, C. Kelley, and B.K. Hartup. The effects of anticoagulant choice and sampling processing time on hematologic values of juvenile whooping cranes. In: Hartup, Barry K., ed., Proceedings of the Eleventh North American Crane Workshop, Sep 23-27, 2008, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin (Baraboo, WI: North American Crane Working Group, 2010), pp. 105-109.
Blood collected from juvenile whooping cranes (Grus americana) in 2007 and 2008 was divided and placed in either the anticoagulant lithium heparin (LiHep) or tri-potassium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (K3EDTA) for diagnostic hematology. Thin smears were prepared from the anticoagulated blood in the field with no delay and in the laboratory after a 4-6-hour delay, and then used to determine differential and total leukocyte counts. Manual heterophil and eosinophil counts were greater in LiHep-treated samples compared to K3EDTA samples (P < 0.05), but there was no difference in the total leukocyte concentration or differential leukocyte counts between anticoagulants based on blood smears prepared with no delay (n = 15). Marked differences were noted in relative heterophil (P < 0.05) and lymphocyte (P < 0.05) counts and total leukocyte (P < 0.05) concentrations of K3EDTA-treated samples processed after the delay (n = 7), suggesting a negative effect on lymphocyte integrity from the anticoagulant. Microscopically, lymphocytes were more intact and easily differentiated from thrombocytes in LiHep-treated samples than K3EDTA, but modest thrombocyte clumping in the LiHep samples was a concern. Either anticoagulant appears adequate for diagnostic hematology in juvenile whooping cranes based on this limited analysis, but blood smears should be prepared immediately under controlled conditions for best results.