Comparative stability of canine and feline hemostatic proteins in freeze-thaw-cycled fresh frozen plasma


  • Presented in part as a poster at the ACVIM Forum June 1, 2006, Louisville, KY and as an oral presentation at the 12th IVECCS September 18, 2006, San Antonio, TX.

  • Authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to
Dr. Matthew Beal, DVM DACVECC, Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. Email:


Objective – To evaluate the stability of canine and feline hemostatic proteins in freeze-thaw-cycled (FTC) fresh frozen plasma (FFP).

Design – Prospective study.

Setting – Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Animals – Nine blood donor dogs and 10 blood donor cats.

Interventions – Whole blood was collected and separated into packed RBC and plasma units according to standard methods. Each unit of plasma was divided into 2 equal aliquots and frozen (−41°C). One aliquot from each donor (FTC) was then thawed and then refrozen (−41°C) until time of analysis. The second aliquot (nonfreeze-thaw-cycled; NFTC) remained frozen until time of analysis. The hemostatic proteins assessed included coagulation factors, anticoagulant factors (antithrombin and Protein C), and adhesive proteins (fibrinogen and von Willebrand Factor). The coagulant activities of factors II, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, and XII were measured in modified one-stage activated partial thromboplastin time or prothrombin time assays. Antithrombin and Protein C activities were measured in chromogenic substrate assays. Clottable fibrinogen was measured via the Clauss method, and von Willebrand Factor concentration (vWF:Ag) was measured in an ELISA. A paired t-test was utilized to identify differences in factor activity or concentration between FTC FFP and NFTC FFP.

Measurements and Main results – No clinically or statistically significant differences (all P>0.05) were identified between FTC FFP and NFTC FFP.

Conclusions – Refreezing FFP within 1 hour of initial thawing appeared to have no deleterious effects on the hemostatic protein activity or content of that unit. Transfusion of FTC FFP is expected to provide the recipient with comparable replacement of hemostatic proteins as FFP that has remained frozen.