• Open Access

A Prospective, Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study of Human Intravenous Immunoglobulin for the Acute Management of Presumptive Primary Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia in Dogs


  • Dr Bianco is presently affiliated with Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, Tinton Falls, NJ. Abstract was presented at the 2008 ACVIM Forum in San Antonio, TX.

Corresponding author: Dr Domenico Bianco, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, 1352 Boyd Avenue, St Paul, MN 55108; e-mail: bianc037@umn.edu.


Background: Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (IMT) is a common hematologic disorder in dogs. Human intravenous immunoglobulin (hIVIG) may have a beneficial effect in canine IMT.

Hypothesis: A single hIVIG infusion (0.5 g/kg) in dogs with presumed primary IMT (pIMT) is a safe adjunctive emergency treatment to accelerate platelet count recovery and shorten hospitalization time without increasing the cost of patient care.

Animals: Eighteen client-owned dogs with a presumptive diagnosis of pIMT.

Methods: Prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Results: There were no identifiable immediate or delayed adverse reactions associated with hIVIG administration over a 6-month period. The median platelet count recovery time for the hIVIG group was 3.5 days (mean ± SD: 3.7 ± 1.3 days; range, 2–7 days) and 7.5 days (mean ± SD: 7.8 ± 3.9 days; range, 3–12 days) for the placebo group. The median duration of hospitalization for hIVIG group was 4 days (mean ± SD: 4.2 ± 0.4 days; range, 2–8 days) and 8 days (mean ± SD: 8.3 ± 0.6 days; range, 4–12 days) for the placebo group. There was no significant difference between groups with respect to expense of initial patient care, whereas significant reduction in platelet count recovery time (P= .018) and duration of hospitalization (P= .027) were detected in the hIVIG group.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Compared with corticosteroids alone, adjunctive emergency therapy of a single hIVIG infusion was safe and associated with a significant reduction in platelet count recovery time and duration of hospitalization without increasing the expense of medical care in a small group of dogs with presumed pIMT.