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Treatment of Blood Clots in Cats with Heart Disease

Welch KM, Rozanski EA, Freeman LM et al: Prospective evaluation of tissue plasminogen activator in 11 cats with arterial thromboembolism, J Feline Med Surg 12:122, 2010.

Feline arterial thromboembolism (ATE) is a serious and devastating event in cats often associated with acute ischemic necrosis of one or more limbs. It is seen in a small percentage of cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Acute aortic thromboembolism has been treated either by conservative methods such as supportive care and antithrombotics or by surgical thrombolectomy or administration of thrombolytic agents. This study’s objective was to evaluate the clinical response and side effects of a thrombolytic agent, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), for the treatment of ATE. Eleven cats were prospectively enrolled into the study over a 6-month period. The study was terminated before enrollment of the planned 24 cats due to a high frequency of adverse outcomes. The results of this study demonstrate that tPA administration was associated with the return of pulses and improved limb scores in 6/9 cats within 12 hours of drug administration. However, adverse effects were seen in all cats following administration of tPA, including azotemia, neurological signs, cardiac arrhythmias, hyperkalemia, acidosis, and sudden death in one cat. The survival to discharge in this study was generally not higher than that reported in the literature with other therapies, including conservative therapy. [VT]

Related articles:
Stokol T, Brooks M, Rush JE et al: Hypercoagulability in cats with cardiomyopathy, J Vet Intern Med 22:546, 2008.