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Research Note: Splenectomy for Immune-Mediated Hematologic Disorders in Dogs

Internal Medicine

|September 2022

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Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) and immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (ITP) are common in dogs; concurrent IMHA and severe thrombocytopenia (CIST) is also possible. Mainstay therapy for IMHA and ITP consists of immunosuppressive doses of glucocorticoids with or without adjunctive immunomodulatory therapy. Splenectomy may be an option in patients with a poor or refractory response to medical management or those unable to continue therapy (eg, due to cost, adverse effects), but only small case series have documented this treatment. 

This study sought to describe clinical outcomes of dogs with IMHA, ITP, or CIST that underwent splenectomy. Improvement was seen most consistently in dogs with ITP (6 out of 7 dogs); 4 out of 7 dogs with IMHA showed improvement, and only 1 out of 3 dogs with CIST had a complete response. Splenectomy was considered successful and well tolerated in most dogs with ITP; however, clinical benefit in patients with IMHA or CIST could not be determined.

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