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Evaluation of prognostic factors, survival rates, and treatment protocols for immune-mediated hemolytic anemia in dogs: 151 cases (1993–2002)

Tristan K. Weinkle DVM1,2, Sharon A. Center DVM, DACVIM3, John F. Randolph DVM, DACVIM4, Karen L. Warner LVT5, Stephen C. Barr BVSc, PhD, DACVIM6, and Hollis N. Erb DVM, PhD7
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 2 Present address is South Carolina Veterinary Internal Medicine, 132 Stonemark Ln, Columbia, SC 29210.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 6 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 7 Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate prognostic factors, survival, and treatment protocols for immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) in dogs.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—151 dogs with IMHA not associated with underlying infectious or neoplastic disease.

Procedure—Information recorded from review of medical records included signalment at the time of initial evaluation; vaccination history; 30-, 60-, and 365-day follow-up outcomes; laboratory data; results of imaging studies; and necropsy findings. Dogs were grouped according to the presence of spherocytes, autoagglutination, a regenerative erythrocyte response, and treatments received (azathioprine, azathioprine plus ultralowdose aspirin, azathioprine plus mixed–molecular-weight heparin [mHEP], or azathioprine plus ultralow-dose aspirin plus mHEP) for comparisons. All dogs received glucocorticoids.

Results—Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Schnauzers, neutered dogs, and female dogs were overrepresented. Alterations in certain clinicopathologic variables were associated with increased mortality rate. Rates of survival following treatment with azathioprine, azathioprine plus ultralow-dose aspirin, azathioprine plus mHEP, and azathioprine plus ultralow-dose aspirin plus mHEP were 74%, 88%, 23%, and 70%, respectively, at hospital discharge; 57%, 82%, 17%, and 67%, respectively, at 30 days; and 45%, 69%, 17%, and 64%, respectively, at 1 year. In comparison, mean survival rates at discharge and at 30 days and 1 year after evaluation collated from 7 published reviews of canine IMHA were 57%, 58%, and 34%, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Treatment with a combination of glucocorticoids, azathioprine, and ultralow-dose aspirin significantly improved short-and long-term survival in dogs with IMHA. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1869–1880)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate prognostic factors, survival, and treatment protocols for immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) in dogs.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—151 dogs with IMHA not associated with underlying infectious or neoplastic disease.

Procedure—Information recorded from review of medical records included signalment at the time of initial evaluation; vaccination history; 30-, 60-, and 365-day follow-up outcomes; laboratory data; results of imaging studies; and necropsy findings. Dogs were grouped according to the presence of spherocytes, autoagglutination, a regenerative erythrocyte response, and treatments received (azathioprine, azathioprine plus ultralowdose aspirin, azathioprine plus mixed–molecular-weight heparin [mHEP], or azathioprine plus ultralow-dose aspirin plus mHEP) for comparisons. All dogs received glucocorticoids.

Results—Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Schnauzers, neutered dogs, and female dogs were overrepresented. Alterations in certain clinicopathologic variables were associated with increased mortality rate. Rates of survival following treatment with azathioprine, azathioprine plus ultralow-dose aspirin, azathioprine plus mHEP, and azathioprine plus ultralow-dose aspirin plus mHEP were 74%, 88%, 23%, and 70%, respectively, at hospital discharge; 57%, 82%, 17%, and 67%, respectively, at 30 days; and 45%, 69%, 17%, and 64%, respectively, at 1 year. In comparison, mean survival rates at discharge and at 30 days and 1 year after evaluation collated from 7 published reviews of canine IMHA were 57%, 58%, and 34%, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Treatment with a combination of glucocorticoids, azathioprine, and ultralow-dose aspirin significantly improved short-and long-term survival in dogs with IMHA. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1869–1880)