Faecal Occult Blood Test

Case of the Month (Emma Scurrell 2010)


Clinical history

Fine needle aspirate from a nodular mass on the nasal planum of a cat.

  Fig 1  

Fig 2

Cytological findings

Figure 1. The predominant cell population consists of mononuclear macrophages and multinucleated giant cells admixed with fewer neutrophils. Within the mixed inflammatory infiltrate are numerous fungal organisms characterised by septate hyphae (red arrow) with globose dilatations forming spore-like structures (black arrow).

Figure 2. Many of the fungal organisms (red arrows) have been phagocytosed by multinucleated giant cells (black arrow).


Fungal infection associated with granulomatous inflammation


This is most likely a case of phaeohyphomycosis, which is an opportunistic fungal infection caused by ubiquitous saprophytes or plant pathogens. These fungi typically produce pigmented fungal hyphae in mammalian tissue, although the pigment is not evident in routinely prepared cytological specimens. The disease most commonly manifests as a primary cutaneous or subcutaneous infection and lesions are mostly found on the distal extremities, particularly the nasal planum of cats. Histopathology and fungal culture are required for definitive diagnosis. Treatment includes complete surgical excision (where possible) with/without systemic antifungal therapy.

Previous Monthly Cases

Hypertensive Retinopathy January 2010
FIP in a cat - uncommon presentation February 2010

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Faecal Occult Blood Test