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Prevalence of hemangiosarcoma in anemic dogs with a splenic mass and hemoperitoneum requiring a transfusion: 71 cases (2003–2005)

Tara N. Hammond DVM1 and S. Anna Pesillo-Crosby VMD, DACVECC2
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  • 1 Department of Emergency and Critical Care, Angell Animal Medical Center, 350 South Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02130.
  • | 2 Department of Emergency and Critical Care, Animal Medical Center of New England, 168 Main Dunstable Rd, Nashua, NH 03060.

Abstract

Objective—To determine prevalence of splenic hemangiosarcoma in anemic dogs with a splenic mass and hemoperitoneum requiring a transfusion and to identify factors that could differentiate between dogs with hemangiosarcoma and dogs with other splenic masses at the time of hospital admission.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—71 dogs.

Procedures—Medical records, blood bank logs, and histologic reports of dogs with a splenic mass and hemoperitoneum that required a transfusion between 2003 and 2005 were reviewed. Dogs that received a transfusion of packed RBCs, were splenectomized, and had a definitive histologic diagnosis were included.

Results—Signalment of dogs was similar to that in other reports. Malignant splenic neoplasia was identified in 54 of 71 (76.1%) dogs, whereas 17 of 71 (23.9%) dogs had a benign splenic lesion. Of 54 dogs with malignant splenic neoplasia, 50 (92.6% [70.4% of all dogs]) had splenic hemangiosarcoma. In addition, dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma had significantly lower total solids (TS) concentrations and platelet counts at admission. Finally, hemoperitoneum was strongly associated with a diagnosis of splenic hemangiosarcoma.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In this clinical population of dogs, prevalence of hemangiosarcoma was higher than in other studies. Dogs with hemangiosarcoma in this study had significantly lower TS concentrations and platelet counts at the time of admission, compared with values for dogs with other splenic masses. No other markers were useful in differentiating dogs with hemangiosarcoma. It is important to discuss the prevalence of and poor prognosis associated with hemangiosarcoma with owners when they are contemplating whether to proceed with treatment.

Abstract

Objective—To determine prevalence of splenic hemangiosarcoma in anemic dogs with a splenic mass and hemoperitoneum requiring a transfusion and to identify factors that could differentiate between dogs with hemangiosarcoma and dogs with other splenic masses at the time of hospital admission.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—71 dogs.

Procedures—Medical records, blood bank logs, and histologic reports of dogs with a splenic mass and hemoperitoneum that required a transfusion between 2003 and 2005 were reviewed. Dogs that received a transfusion of packed RBCs, were splenectomized, and had a definitive histologic diagnosis were included.

Results—Signalment of dogs was similar to that in other reports. Malignant splenic neoplasia was identified in 54 of 71 (76.1%) dogs, whereas 17 of 71 (23.9%) dogs had a benign splenic lesion. Of 54 dogs with malignant splenic neoplasia, 50 (92.6% [70.4% of all dogs]) had splenic hemangiosarcoma. In addition, dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma had significantly lower total solids (TS) concentrations and platelet counts at admission. Finally, hemoperitoneum was strongly associated with a diagnosis of splenic hemangiosarcoma.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In this clinical population of dogs, prevalence of hemangiosarcoma was higher than in other studies. Dogs with hemangiosarcoma in this study had significantly lower TS concentrations and platelet counts at the time of admission, compared with values for dogs with other splenic masses. No other markers were useful in differentiating dogs with hemangiosarcoma. It is important to discuss the prevalence of and poor prognosis associated with hemangiosarcoma with owners when they are contemplating whether to proceed with treatment.

Contributor Notes

The authors thank Dr. Prashant R. Nambiar for assistance with the statistical analysis.

Address correspondence to Dr. Hammond.