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Blood Transfusion

Weltman JG, Fletcher DJ, Rogers C.

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.

 J Vet Emerg Crit Care 2014;24:429–36.

Yvonne McGrotty’s review: Cats have red blood cell (RBC) alloantibodies that necessitate the need for blood typing in all cases prior to transfusion in order to prevent potentially fatal transfusion reactions. Cross-matching has generally only been recommended in cats that have received a previous transfusion. Earlier studies have reported that the actual post-transfusion increase in packed cell volume (PCV) in cats is less than anticipated (J Fel Med Surg 2004;6:139–48). Blood typing identifies alloantibodies against AB antigens but, more recently, a further report suggested that a high prevalence of an alloantibody against a different antigen called Mik, which cannot be detected by traditional blood typing, could lead to transfusion reactions or the potential for decreased efficacy of packed RBC (pRBC) transfusion (J Vet Int Med 2007;21:287–92).

The aim of this retrospective study was to determine whether cats that received cross-matched pRBC transfusions had a higher post-transfusion PCV than cats that received non-cross-matched transfusions. The efficacy of the transfusion was determined by measuring the change in PCV after transfusion with type-specific pRBCs. A total of 209 cats that received a total of 233 transfusions were eligible for inclusion in this study. Of these 209 cats, 173 received a total of 190 type-specific, non-cross-matched transfusions and the remaining 36 received a total of 43 type-specific, cross-matched transfusions. Medical records were reviewed and the following parameters were compared before and after transfusion with pRBCs: PCV, time between pre-transfusion PCV and initiating transfusion, time between transfusion and post-transfusion PCV measurement, cross-match status, and cause of anaemia (blood loss, decreased RBC production, or RBC destruction). A major cross-match was performed in all the cats that had received a transfusion >3days previously and also in some naïve cats if requested by the clinician.

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