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  • Author or Editor: Joanne Hodges x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine diagnostic accuracy of using erythrocyte indices and polychromasia to identify regenerative anemia in dogs.

Design—Retrospective and prospective cross-sectional study.

Animals—4,521 anemic dogs.

Procedures—CBC results obtained between July 2002 and July 2008 by use of an automated laser-based flow cytometric hematology analyzer from dogs with Hct values ≤ 35% were retrieved. Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and predictive values of using erythrocyte indices and polychromasia to identify regeneration were determined, with a reticulocyte count > 65,000 reticulocytes/μL considered the gold standard. Similarly, 134 blood samples from anemic dogs were analyzed prospectively with an in-house electrical impedance analyzer.

Results—Of 4,387 dogs with samples analyzed retrospectively, 1,426 (32.5%) had regenerative anemia. Of these, 168 (11.8%) had macrocytic hypochromic anemia. High mean cell volume and low mean cell hemoglobin concentration had low sensitivity (11%), high specificity (98%), and moderate accuracy (70%) when used to identify regenerative anemia. Use of polychromasia alone had an accuracy of 77%, and use of polychromasia combined with a high RBC distribution width (RDW) had an accuracy of 79%. Results obtained with the in-house analyzer were similar.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that most regenerative anemias in dogs were not macrocytic hypochromic. Polychromasia, with or without high RDW, was a more accurate indicator than other erythrocyte indices of regenerative anemia. To avoid a false diagnosis of nonregenerative anemia, a blood smear should be evaluated in anemic dogs when a reticulocyte count is not available.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association