• Open Access

Randomized, Placebo Controlled Study of the Effect of Propentofylline on Survival Time and Quality of Life of Cats with Feline Infectious Peritonitis


  • This study was performed at the Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, LMU University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

Corresponding author: Katrin Hartmann, Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, LMU University of Munich, Veterinaerstrasse 13, 80539 Munich, Germany; e-mail: hartmann@lmu.de



Currently there is no drug proven to effectively treat cats with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).


Propentofylline (PPF) can decrease vasculitis, and therefore prolong survival time in cats with FIP, and increase their quality of life.


Twenty-three privately owned cats with FIP.


Placebo-controlled double-blind trial. FIP was confirmed by histology or immunostaining of feline coronavirus (FCoV) antigen in effusion or tissue macrophages or both. The cats were randomly selected for treatment with either PPF or placebo. All cats received additional treatment with glucocorticoids, antibiotics, and low molecular weight heparin according to methods.


There was no statistically significant difference in the survival time of cats treated with PPF (8 days, 95% CI 5.4–10.6) versus placebo (7.5 days, 95% CI 4.4–9.6). The median survival time of all cats was 8 days (4–36 days). There was neither a difference in quality of life (day 7, P = .892), in the amount of effusion (day 7, P = .710), the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) concentration (day 7, P = .355), nor in any other variable investigated in this study, including a complete blood count, and a small animal biochemistry profile.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

This study did not detect an effect of PPF on the survival time, the quality of life, or any clinical or laboratory parameter in cats with FIP. Therefore, PPF does not appear to be an effective treatment option in cats with a late stage of the disease FIP.