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Spontaneous hemoperitoneum in cats: 65 cases (1994–2006)

William T. N. Culp VMD, DACVS1, Chick Weisse VMD, DACVS2, Melissa E. Kellogg DVM3, Ira K. Gordon DVM, DACVR4, Dana L. Clarke VMD5, Lauren R. May VMD, DACVS6, and Kenneth J. Drobatz DVM, MSCE, DACVECC, DACVIM7
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108.
  • | 4 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 5 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823.
  • | 6 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108.
  • | 7 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Abstract

Objective—To describe the clinical signs, physical examination findings, clinical laboratory abnormalities, etiology, and outcome in cats with spontaneous hemoperitoneum.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—65 client-owned cats with spontaneous hemoperitoneum.

Procedures—Medical records of cats with spontaneous hemoperitoneum at 7 large referral clinics were reviewed. Cats were included if a definitive diagnosis of spontaneous hemoperitoneum could be obtained from review of the medical records.

Results—65 cats met inclusion criteria. The most common historical findings were lethargy, anorexia, and vomiting. Common findings on physical examination included inadequate hydration status and hypothermia. The most common clinicopathologic abnormalities were high serum AST activity, anemia, prolonged prothrombin time, and prolonged partial thromboplastin time. Forty-six percent (30/65) of cats had abdominal neoplasia, and 54% (35/65) had nonneoplastic conditions. Hemangiosarcoma was the most often diagnosed neoplasm (18/30; 60%), and the spleen was the most common location for neoplasia (11/30; 37%). Eight cats survived to be discharged from the hospital. Cats with neoplasia were significantly older and had significantly lower PCVs than cats with non-neoplastic disease.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Spontaneous hemoperitoneum in cats often results in debilitating clinical consequences. In contrast to dogs with hemoperitoneum, the cause of hemoperitoneum in cats is approximately evenly distributed between neoplastic and nonneoplastic diseases. Although only a few cats were treated in this study, the prognosis appears poor.

Abstract

Objective—To describe the clinical signs, physical examination findings, clinical laboratory abnormalities, etiology, and outcome in cats with spontaneous hemoperitoneum.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—65 client-owned cats with spontaneous hemoperitoneum.

Procedures—Medical records of cats with spontaneous hemoperitoneum at 7 large referral clinics were reviewed. Cats were included if a definitive diagnosis of spontaneous hemoperitoneum could be obtained from review of the medical records.

Results—65 cats met inclusion criteria. The most common historical findings were lethargy, anorexia, and vomiting. Common findings on physical examination included inadequate hydration status and hypothermia. The most common clinicopathologic abnormalities were high serum AST activity, anemia, prolonged prothrombin time, and prolonged partial thromboplastin time. Forty-six percent (30/65) of cats had abdominal neoplasia, and 54% (35/65) had nonneoplastic conditions. Hemangiosarcoma was the most often diagnosed neoplasm (18/30; 60%), and the spleen was the most common location for neoplasia (11/30; 37%). Eight cats survived to be discharged from the hospital. Cats with neoplasia were significantly older and had significantly lower PCVs than cats with non-neoplastic disease.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Spontaneous hemoperitoneum in cats often results in debilitating clinical consequences. In contrast to dogs with hemoperitoneum, the cause of hemoperitoneum in cats is approximately evenly distributed between neoplastic and nonneoplastic diseases. Although only a few cats were treated in this study, the prognosis appears poor.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Culp's present address is School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Dr. Weisse's present address is Animal Medical Center, 510 East 62nd St, New York, NY 10065.

Dr. Kellogg's present address is Veterinary Surgical Associates, 1410 Monument Blvd, Concord, CA 94520.

Dr. Gordon's present address is Radiation Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute, 10 Center Dr, Bethesda, MD 20892.

Dr. Clarke's present address is the Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 3800 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Dr. May's present address is Veterinary Specialists of Rochester, 825 White Spruce Blvd, Rochester, NY 14623.

The authors thank Drs. Aylin Attilla, Victoria Campbell, Craig Clifford, Mathieu Glassman, and Rebecca Risbon for assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Culp (wculp@ucdavis.edu).