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Immune-mediated Thrombocytopenia in Cats

Wondratschek C, Weingart C, Kohn B. Primary immune-mediated thrombocytopenia in cats. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. Jan-Feb 2010;46(1):12-19.

Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets) is much less common in cats than in dogs. Many cases of immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (IMT) are secondary to another disease, such as viral infections, bacterial infections, inflammation, cancer, and drug therapy. Only a few primary cases of IMT (those with no known underlying diseases or contributing factors) have been described in the literature. IMT is a disease where antibodies bind to the surface of platelets, resulting in their destruction by macrophages. The diagnosis is based on a low platelet count, and exclusion of underlying diseases or triggers. Demonstration of platelet-bound antibodies using flow cytometry confirms the diagnosis, but this test is not widely available. This study, from the Free University of Berlin, describes five cats with severe IMT. All cats were presented because of spontaneous bleeding or hematoma formation. Three of the cats required transfusion with fresh whole blood; one cat also received Oxyglobin. All cats were treated with prednisolone and one cat also received chlorambucil. All cats were also treated with antibiotics to reduce the risk of secondary infections. Four of the five cats responded to treatment but one cat was euthanized due to dyspnea. [SL]

Related articles:
Bianco D, Armstrong PJ, Washabau RJ. Presumed primary immune-mediated thrombocytopenia in four cats. J Feline Med Surg. Oct 2008;10(5):495-500.

Tasker S, Mackin AJ, Day MJ. Primary immune-mediated thrombocytopenia in a cat. J Small Anim Pract. Mar 1999;40(3):127-131.