• Open Access

Effect of Leukoreduction on Transfusion-Induced Inflammation in Dogs


Corresponding author: Maureen A. McMichael, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 1008 West Hazelwood Drive, Urbana, IL 61802; e-mail: mmcm@illinois.edu.


Background: Removal of leukocytes (LR) has been shown to eliminate or attenuate many of the adverse effects of transfusion in experimental animals and humans.

Hypothesis/Objectives: Transfusion of stored packed red blood cells (pRBCs) is associated with an inflammatory response in dogs and prestorage LR attenuates the inflammatory response.

Animals: Thirteen random-source, clinically healthy, medium and large breed dogs.

Methods: Experimental study. On day 0, animals were examined and baseline blood samples were collected for analysis. Whole blood was then collected for processing with and without LR, and stored as pRBC. Twenty-one days later, stored pRBCs were transfused back to the donor. Blood samples were collected before and 1 and 3 days after transfusion.

Results: In the dogs that received non-LR pRBCs (n = 6) there was a significant increase from baseline in white blood cell count from a mean (SD) of 8.20 (2.74) to 13.95 (4.60) × 103 cells/μL (P < .001) and in segmented neutrophil count from a mean (SD) of 5.76 (2.70) to 11.91 (4.71) × 103 cells/μL (P < .001). There were also significant increases in fibrinogen from a mean (SD) of 129.7 (24.2) to 268.6 (46.7) mg/dL (P < .001) and C-reactive protein from a mean (SD) of 1.9 (2.1) to 78.3 (39.3) μg/mL (P < .001). There was no significant increase from baseline in any of the markers in the dogs that received LR pRBC (n = 5).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: There is a profound inflammatory response to transfusion in normal dogs, which is eliminated by LR of the pRBC units.