OBJECTIVE To compare blood flow velocities of the portal vein (PV) and caudal vena cava (CVC) measured by use of pulsed-wave Doppler ultrasonography in clinically normal dogs and dogs with primary immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA).
ANIMALS 11 client-owned dogs admitted to a veterinary teaching hospital for management of primary IMHA and 21 staff- or student-owned clinically normal dogs.
PROCEDURES Flow velocities in the PV and CVC at the porta hepatis were evaluated in conscious unsedated dogs with concurrent ECG monitoring; evaluations were performed before dogs with IMHA received heparin or blood transfusions. Three measurements of peak velocity at end expiration were obtained for each vessel, and the mean was calculated. Results were compared between IMHA and control groups.
RESULTS Mean ± SD blood flow velocity in the CVC differed between control (63.0 ± 18.6 cm/s) and IMHA (104 ± 36.9 cm/s) groups. Variance in dogs with IMHA was significantly greater than that for the clinically normal dogs. No significant difference in blood flow velocity in the PV was detected between IMHA and control dogs.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Higher blood flow velocities were detected by use of pulsed-wave Doppler ultrasonography in the CVC of dogs with naturally occurring IMHA and may be used to predict anemia in patients suspected of having IMHA.