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Use of fresh platelet concentrate or lyophilized platelets in thrombocytopenic dogs with clinical signs of hemorrhage: a preliminary trial in 37 dogs


  • Fresh and Lyophilized Platelets products evaluated in the study were provided by Animal Blood Resources International. Dr. Brainard is an Assistant Editor for the journal, but did not participate in the peer-review process other than as an author. Presented in part at ACVIM Forum 2010 in Anaheim, CA.

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Dr. Elizabeth Davidow, Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services, 11536 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98125. USA




To examine the safety and feasibility of using lyophilized platelets (LYO) and fresh platelet concentrate (FRESH) in bleeding thrombocytopenic dogs.


Preliminary prospective randomized clinical trial.


Two private referral centers and 3 university teaching hospitals.


Thirty-seven dogs with a complaint of hemorrhage associated with thrombocytopenia (platelet count <70 × 109/L [70,000/μL], a hematocrit >15%, and that had received neither vincristine nor platelet-containing transfusions within 72 h of enrollment were studied.


Animals were randomized to receive LYOor FRESH, dosed according to weight. Physical examination, complete blood counts, and coagulation testing (prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time) were performed at enrollment. Physical examinations were also performed immediately post transfusion, and at 1 and 24 h after transfusion. Complete blood counts were repeated immediately post transfusion and at 24 h. Collected data included bleeding score (BLS), response to transfusion, adverse reactions, hospitalization time, need for additional transfusions, survival to discharge, and 28-d survival.

Measurements and Main Results

Twenty-two dogs received LYOand 15 received FRESH. There was no difference between groups in age, weight, BLS, platelet count, white blood cell count, hematocrit, or presence of melena. There was no difference between groups in transfusion reaction rates, the need for additional transfusions, 24-h BLS, hospitalization time, survival to discharge, or 28-d survival.


Transfusion of LYO was feasible and associated with a low transfusion reaction rate in this limited study of thrombocytopenic canine patients presenting with mild-to-severe hemorrhage. LYOwere easy to use and provided storage advantages over FRESH. Further study of this product, including examination of efficacy and platelet life span, is warranted.