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Ultrasound Guided Lymph Node Culture

Ultrasound Guided Lymph Node Culture

This type of lymph node sampling is helpful in determining infected lymph nodes vs. lymphoma.


  • 6 cc Luer lock syringe
  • 1cc of saline
  • 2 ccs of air
  • Culture tube

Following ultrasound guided FNA of the lymph node, draw 1cc of saline with 2 ccs of air into a 6cc syringe and using the corkscrew technique pull back on the syringe as you corkscrew to obtain your sample for culture. Using your middle finger and ring finger on the base of the syringe and thumb and forefinger on the plunger, pull back on the plunger while you are twisting the needle into the lymph node. This technique traumatizes the lymph node enough to where you get fluid back ; have your animal holder tell you when the saline appears "dirty" (blood/pink-tinged fluid) then stop. Take the needle off, dump the contents into a culture tube and send it out for culture.

Since the procedure effectiveness is nebulous when performing FNA (i.e. not knowing if inflammatory or neoplastic at time of sampling), we can simultaneously submit a cytology and culture at the same visit. First we FNA for cytology, then culture for bacteria on the second sampling.

Feline lymph node.

Fine needle aspirate of lymph node.


Blood/pink-tinged fluid from lymph node sample for culture.