BACKGROUND: The safety and feasibility of plateletpheresis using a commercially available apheresis system (COBE Spectra, Gambro BCT) were evaluated in donor dogs, with characterization of its clinical and clinicopathologic effects.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Fourteen adult dogs (18-27.7 kg) underwent a plateletpheresis procedure. Complete blood counts were obtained at baseline, 2 hours after apheresis, and daily for 1 week. Blood was collected every 15 minutes for acid-base and electrolyte analysis and measurement of serum citrate concentration. Dogs were monitored by continuous electrocardiogram and indirect blood pressure measurement. All dogs received prophylactic calcium (Ca) supplementation (10% Ca gluconate infusion at 15 mL/hr [139.5 mg Ca ion/hr]; the rate was increased based on serial measurement of ionized Ca [iCa] concentration).

RESULTS: A high-quality platelet concentrate (PC) was collected, with a mean total yield of 3.3 × 1011 platelets (PLTs). The mean donor PLT count decreased from 356 × 109 to 159 × 109 per L after apheresis. The procedure was generally well tolerated, with no evidence of hypotension. Serum citrate concentration progressively increased, causing the ionized magnesium concentration to decrease by 45 percent and iCa to decrease to less than 1 mmol per L (mean baseline, 1.2 mmol/L) in 10 dogs, despite receiving 0.9 mg of Ca ion per mL acid-citrate-dextrose formula A. Lip licking was noted in 3 dogs, and generalized tremors and ventricular ectopy were noted in 1 dog.

CONCLUSION: Canine plateletpheresis using the COBE Spectra is a feasible option for production of a PC. Hypocalcemia, however, is a potential serious adverse effect of plateletpheresis in dogs. Ca supplementation is recommended to limit clinical signs of hypocalcemia during the procedure.