IDEXX Digital Cytology

Rapid results and personalized guidance from experts you trust


Whole-slide interpretation in 2 hours or less, 24/7/365

Largest global network of veterinary clinical pathologists

Integrated, comprehensive reports with images

Personalized guidance from veterinary clinical pathologists

Make your best decisions, faster, with 24/7/365 access to IDEXX’s world-class global network of veterinary clinical pathologists.
IDEXX veterinary clinical pathologist reviewing and interpreting a slide from the IDEXX Digital Cytology Instrument
  • Scan and transmit high-resolution whole-slide images directly to IDEXX Reference Laboratories. 
  • Get personalized guidance for routine cases as well as critical and complex pathology cases.
  • Discuss your case with an IDEXX pathologist 24/7/365.
  • Review cytology results with images, provided exclusively with VetConnect PLUS, alongside other diagnostic results for a comprensive view of your patient.

Find out if Digital Cytology is right for your practice

Current customers: Get guides and training resources.

Visit our directory of pathology specialists

Simple, seamless diagnostic experience for rapid case management

4 simple steps

Scan your IDEXX requisition ID to create a case
Order test

Order test via VetConnect PLUS or your supported practice management system, and scan requisition ID to create a case.

Two stained slides for scanning with the IDEXX Digital Cytology Instrument
Select slides

Select up to two stained slides for scanning.

Insert tray into the IDEXX Digital Cytology instrument
Scan slides

Place stained slide into tray, and insert tray into the IDEXX Digital Cytology instrument. Repeat to scan second slide.

Click submit to send digital cytology images to pathologists

Preview images and click Submit to send to pathologist. 

Pathology report on iPad in 2 hours or less with IDEXX Digital Cytology

Integrated, comprehensive reports with images in 2 hours or less

Exclusively with VetConnect PLUS
  • Simplify case management with results integrated directly into your practice management system. 
  • View and share comprehensive reports complete with high-resolution images interpretation and notes, exclusively on VetConnect PLUS.
  • Access chemistry, hematology, and all other IDEXX diagnostic test results alongside your pathology results for a comprehensive view of your patient.

Compatible with majority of cytology specimen types

Impression smears from solid tissues

  • Lymph nodes
  • Skin/subcutaneous masses
  • Internal organs
    • Spleen
    • Liver
    • Prostate
    • Intestine
    • Lung
    • Kidney
    • Bone
    • Pancreas
    • Mediastinum
    • Other
  • Vaginal smears

Fine-needle aspirations (FNAs) and body fluids

  • Body cavity effusions:
    • Abdominal fluid
    • Pericardial fluid
    • Pleural fluid
  • Joint fluid 
  • Blood smears 
  • Urine sediment (dry mount)
  • Tracheal/bronchoalveolar (BAL) wash
German Shepherd on dock at lake

Deeper insights

IDEXX Digital Cytology led to referral and treatment sooner

Case study: Ace

Ace came to his veterinarian after a 1-week history of decreased appetite and lethargy. He had normal drinking and urination, and his owner reported no vomiting or diarrhea.

Read the case study

Answers to common questions about the instrument

Current customers: Get guides and training resources.

Whole-slide imaging takes advantage of recent advances in digital technology, such as computer processing, software, data transfer speeds, and cloud storage, to enable pathologists to examine specimens as if they were looking through your microscope. Unlike microscope cameras that acquire images of a portion of a slide, whole slide imaging captures high-resolution images of the entire slide. This reduces the risk of missing a critical area of interest by enabling the entire diagnostic yield to be assessed by the pathologist.

IDEXX employs over 150 full-time pathologists to support pathology testing in North America. Our pathologists come from world-class veterinary universities from around the world. Learn more about our pathology team.

The IDEXX Digital Cytology instrument provides digital images to our IDEXX pathologists for review and interpretation. Once the IDEXX pathologist receives the digital images, they will make their interpretation and provide their expert assessment in a report with images. Their contact information will be provided on the report for you to connect with them directly if you have questions over their interpretation or next steps.

The instrument does leverage artificial intelligence to recognize the slide and provide a recommendation for the area of interest for image scanning. It does not interpret the cells on the slide. The digital image is sent to an IDEXX pathologist, who then assesses and provides interpretation via a report with images.

You will receive your results within 2 hours of order status showing “At the lab” on VetConnect PLUS. The results will be integrated into the patient record and can be accessed via your practice management software or through VetConnect PLUS.

The following specimen types can be submitted:
Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) or impression smears from solid tissue:
  • Lymph nodes
  • Skin/Subcutaneous masses
  • Internal organs (e.g., spleen, liver, prostate, intestine, lung, kidney, bone, pancreas, mediastinum) 
  • Body cavity effusions:
    • Abdominal fluid
    • Pericardial fluid
    • Pleural fluid
  • Joint fluid 
Blood smears 
Urine sediment (dry mount)
Tracheal/bronchoalveolar wash (BAL)  
Vaginal smears

Note: Cytologic evaluation of tracheal/bronchoalveolar wash (BAL) may be ordered as a cytology only (without fluid analysis).


Sample types NOT suitable:
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • Bone marrow
  • Any specimens with suspect bacterial/ infectious agent
  • Wet mount urine sediment 
  • Acetate tape impressions
  • Fecal smears

In the event a digital image cannot be interpreted by an IDEXX pathologist, customers will have the option to submit their slides to IDEXX via traditional methods by sending their slides to IDEXX Reference Laboratories.

Visit the IDEXX Learning Center for a host of complimentary educational resources. You can take a CE-accredited course or watch short video clips from the course focused on specific topics. Whatever approach you choose, we’ll help you’ll learn: 

  • How to prepare pathology slides for specific specimen types.
  • Different slide preparation techniques and when to use them.
  • How to submit slides.
  • How to use the digital cytology instrument.

Start learning today

Find out if IDEXX Digital Cytology is right for your practice.

Fill out the form below and an IDEXX representative will reach out to you.
Current customers: Get guides and training resources.