Background: Protein C (PC) and antithrombin (AT) activities are decreased in humans with severe sepsis, and persistent changes are associated with decreased survival. In dogs with sepsis, PC and AT have been shown to be decreased at the time of diagnosis.
Hypothesis: PC and AT activities change significantly over time in dogs with sepsis and may be related to outcome.
Animals: Twelve dogs with naturally occurring sepsis.
Methods: Blood was collected from 12 dogs with sepsis, defined as histopathologic or microbiologic confirmation of infection and two of the following: hypo- or hyperthermia, tachycardia, tachypnea, leukopenia, leukocytosis, or >3% bands. The time of 1st sampling was considered day 1 and sampling was repeated every 24 hours for 5 days or until discharge or death. Changes over time were analyzed by ANOVA with repeated measures, and the association between PC and AT and outcome was determined by a 2-equation treatment effects model.
Results: Nine dogs and 11 dogs had decreased PC and AT activity on day 1, respectively (mean PC, 66.0 ± 25.8%; mean AT, 48.1 ± 16.5%). PC activity significantly decreased from day 1 to day 2 (P= .001), then increased over time. Changes in PC (P < .001) and AT (P < .001) over time were likely associated with outcome with nonsurvivors having lower PC and AT activities than survivors.
Conclusion: Results of this preliminary study show that PC and AT activities change significantly over time in dogs with sepsis and both are likely related to survival.