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Effects of serial harvest of plasma on total plasma protein and total immunoglobulin G concentrations in donor horses involved in a plasmapheresis program

Sara M. Ziska DVM, PhD1, John Schumacher DVM, MS2, Sue H. Duran PhD3, and Kenny V. Brock DVM, PhD4
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  • 1 Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.
  • | 4 Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of intensive serial plasmapheresis on total plasma protein and total IgG concentrations in donor horses involved in a plasmapheresis program.

Animals—18 horses (13 mares and 5 geldings; 13 Belgians, 3 Percherons, 1 Standardbred, and 1 warmblood) ranging from 7 to 14 years of age (mean ± SD, 10 ± 3 years) and weighing 822 ± 128 kg.

Procedures—Horses from which 22 mL of plasma/kg of donor body weight was harvested at 14-day intervals for a minimum of 8 consecutive plasmapheresis donations were retrospectively selected for use in the evaluation. Automated plasmapheresis procedures were performed by use of 2 modified plasmapheresis instruments/donor horse. Plasma samples were obtained at each donation and used for determination of total protein and total IgG concentrations. Total plasma protein concentrations were determined via refractometry. A commercially available ELISA was used to determine total equine IgG concentrations.

Results—The 18 donor horses were used in 8 to 19 serial donations (mean ± SD, 13 ± 3 donations) during the study. Donor horses had significant decreases in both plasma protein and IgG concentrations over the study period.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serial plasmapheresis procedures caused significant decreases in both plasma protein and IgG concentrations in donor horses; however, decreases were not physiologically relevant. Performing plasmapheresis in horses in accordance with the evaluated automated plasmapheresis procedures did not result in a critical decrease in total plasma protein or total IgG concentrations.

Contributor Notes

The authors thank Drs. James C. Wright and Roberto Palomares-Naveda for assistance with statistical design and interpretation.

Address correspondence to Dr. Ziska (ziskasm@auburn.edu).