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Objective: To establish normal parameters of thromboelastography (TEG) in healthy adult cats.

Background: Thromboelastography (TEG) is an in vitro test of coagulation that has been shown to be useful in humans, dogs and select species to identify and quantify alterations of hemostasis (e.g., hypercoagulable and hypocoagulable states). It has also been demonstrated to be useful in monitoring effects of anticoagulant therapies. This test has not been evaluated in cats.

Methods: Blood was collected from 25 clinically normal cats by venipuncture using a 21 gauge×3 1/2 inch butterfly catheter and syringe for medial saphenous or jugular venipuncture. A single 1.8 mL sample in 3.8% Sodium Citrate (9:1) was collected from each cat. Recalcified whole blood was analyzed 30 minutes following collection with the TEG® 5000 analyzer (Haemoscope, Niles, IL). Analysis temperature was 37.6°C. TEG parameters recorded included: R-value (represents initial fibrin formation), K (time from R to standard fixed measure of clot firmness which represents contributions of platelets and fibrinogen), maximum amplitude (MA; represents absolute clot strength), and alpha angle (α; the slope of TEG tracing which represents rate of clot formation). The coagulation index (CI) was derived from the formula generated for humans to provide an overall assessment of whether the sample was hyper- or hypocoagulable.

Results: Values for the 25 normal cat samples are reported as mean ±2 standard deviations. R=2.97; 1.23–4.72; K=1.54, 0.38–2.71; α=70.70, 57.76–83.65; MA=58.50, 45.26–71.74 and CI=2.27, 0.07–4.46. Compared to historical information obtained on normal dogs, cats have significantly shorter R and K and larger α, MA and CI.

Conclusions: TEG does have reproducible performance when used to evaluate coagulation status in normal cats. Compared to dogs, normal cats favor a hypercoagulable state. Species-specific normal values are necessary for interpretation of TEG results. This test bears potential value for use in future experimental and clinical work to investigate hemostasis in cats receiving anticoagulant therapies or in cats suffering from diseases such as cardiomyopathy which are thought to be associated with altered coagulation status.