Culp WT, Weisse C, Kellogg ME et al: Spontaneous hemoperitoneum in cats: 65 cases (1994–2006), J Am Vet Med Assoc 236:978, 2010.
Hemoperitoneum is defined as a hemorrhagic effusion within the peritoneal cavity. The cause is usually characterized as being due to either trauma or occurring spontaneously. A retrospective study reviewed the medical records of cats from 7 referral clinics for evidence of spontaneous hemoperitoneum. 65 cats were determined to have been diagnosed with spontaneous hemoperitoneum during this 13 year study period. Lethargy, anorexia, and vomiting were the most common historical findings noted among the cases and many of these cats upon physical examination were dehydrated and hypothermic. A large percentage of these cats were critically ill with signs of shock upon presentation. 46% (30/65) of the cases had abdominal neoplasia and the remaining 54% (35/65) had non-neoplastic conditions. Hemangiosarcoma of the spleen was the most common neoplasm and neoplastic location. Cats with neoplasia were significantly older and had significantly lower packed cell volumes. Coagulopathies and hepatic necrosis were the most common causes of non-neoplastic hemoperitoneum. Coagulopathies are often associated with severe conditions such as pancreatitis and sepsis or due to ingestion of anticoagulant rodenticides. Most of the cats in this study were euthanized; only 8 cats survived to be discharged. Based on results of the study, the prognosis for cats with spontaneous hemoperitoneum appears poor. [VT]