Veterinary pathology labs could benefit from recent progress in microscopy software for human cells

Medical and veterinary technologists typically look at the same types of white blood cells when carrying out a differential count: neutrophils, monocytes, eosinophils, basophils and lymphocytes.

Differences between human and animal leukocytes from an image analysis perspective

When seen through a high resolution camera on a screen we can perceive some differences between human and canine or feline cells. Although dog/cat blood cells differ from human cells in that they are slightly smaller, their cell morphology is very similar to ours.  Here are two examples of subtle morphological differences:


A - human neutrophil


B - feline neutrophil

Normal mature feline neutrophils have cytoplasm that lacks visible granules while those of humans have many specific granules.

A - human eosinophil


B - feline eosinophil

Normal mature eosinophils of the cat have small rod-shaped granules while those found in humans have spherically-shaped granules.


As for the range of normal values of mature cells, the percentages can be quite different for some leukocytes. For example, most animals have very few to no band neutrophils normally in the circulation (some healthy dogs can have low numbers of band neutrophils in their blood).


There are also many differences across species as to the reaction with the dyes in polychrome blood stains (also called Romanowsky stains) but the prototype species for classification is human.

Cross-disciplinary technology

Due to the flexible nature of Clemex software, these differences can easily be taken into account and adjustments can be made to cover most exceptions. As progress in developing such a complex tool takes time and effort, the fact that Clemex HemaCyto is “compatible” with animal blood is a genuine advantage for the veterinary discipline.

Advantages of Clemex image analysis software

Automated and fast: Clemex HemaCyto scans peripheral blood smears automatically and performs a WBC localization and pre-classification in 2 minutes per slide. 

Archiving and traceability of results: All results, images and details of the analysis are traceable to the patient file through the use of a bar code system. 

Standardized laboratory practices: After the automatic WBC localization, qualified professionals can re-classify cells and perform RBC characterization.

Communication and sharing: Laboratory staff can easily exchange images, results as well as comments made on individual cells or entire slides.


Clemex HemaCyto is available in various configurations, from the simple Clik edition to the fully automated 200-slide hematology analyzer called Clemex HemaCyto Plus.

  • Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine:
  • Color Atlas of Hematology:  An Illustrated Field Guide Based on Proficiency Testing (1998) Eric F. Glassy, MD, editor
  • Hématologie, 2ème édition, Roselyne L'Italien, Hélène Lord–Dubé 
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  • Clemex HemaCyto

    WBC differential and RBC characterization

    The Clemex HemaCyto system is the most recent microscopy system for peripheral blood smears analysis. Able to locate white blood cells, Clemex HemaCyto is the... learn more