Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Article

Agreement between postmortem endometrial cytology, biopsy and bacteriology in culled dairy cows

Beatríz Maríño Fuentes, Luis Angel Quintela Arias, Juan José Becerra González, Lidia del Barrio del Sol, Jesús Enrique Mociños Feijóo, José Luis Guillín Puñal, Mónica Barrio López, Alberto Prieto Lago, José Manuel Díaz Cao, Gonzalo Fernández Rodríguez, Pedro José García Herradón, Ana Isabel Peña Martinez

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The objectives of this study were to determine: a) the agreement between postmortem endometrial cytology, uterine biopsy and presence of intrauterine fluid in apparently normal genital tracts collected from culled dairy cows; b) the agreement between results obtained from paired uterine horns using the different diagnosis methods; and c) the microorganisms isolated from uteri with cytological endometritis. One hundred grossly normal genital tracts from Holstein cows were collected at a local slaughterhouse. Samples for cytology, histopathology and bacteriology were obtained from both uterine horns, and presence of any intrauterine content was determined after opening the tracts. Cut-off values used for positive cytology were ≥5% PMN (polymorphonuclear neutrophils). Data were analyzed by ROC curve analysis, Cohen’s Kappa method and Chi-square tests. Presence of inflammatory infiltrate and its endometrial distribution were the only histological parameters significantly correlated with cytology results (AUC: 0.780 and 0.694, respectively). Agreement between histology and cytology was moderately high for presence of infiltrate (kappa = 0.55) and low for infiltrate distribution (kappa = 0.33). Other histological parameters (status of endometrial epithelium, endometrial glands or fibrosis), intrauterine content or bacteriology were not correlated with cytology. Presence of intrauterine content was significantly (P = 0.036) related with biopsy results. Moderately high agreement was observed between paired uterine horns for cytology (kappa = 0.65) and biopsy (kappa = 0.74). Bacteriology was not related with cytology or biopsy, but different bacteria were isolated from cytology negative or positive uteri. It was concluded that endometrial cytology, although less sensitive than biopsy, is a useful tool for diagnosing subclinical endometrial inflammation.


dairy cattle, endometrial cytology, endometrial histology, microbiology, subclinical endometritis.


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