Retrospective study of canine blood xenotransfusion compared with type-matched feline blood allotransfusion to cats: indications, effectiveness, limitations and adverse effects

Maria Elkin, Noa Amichay-Menashe, Gilad Segev, Efrat Kelmer, Dana Adlersberg, Itamar Aroch, Sigal Klainbart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Xenotransfusion is the transfusion of blood from one species to another. With varying availability of allogenic feline blood (AFB) and in emergency conditions, circumstances occur when canine blood is transfused to cats. This study aimed to characterise the indications, effectiveness, limitations, and acute and late transfusion-related adverse effects of canine blood xenotransfusion compared with matched AFB to anaemic cats, and their survival and longer-term outcome. Methods: This retrospective study (2013–2020) examined cats receiving canine blood xenotransfusions or AFB. Results: The study included 311 cats (xenotransfusion [X-group], n = 105; allotransfusion [A-group], n = 206). Xenotransfusion was more frequent among cats sustaining haemorrhage than in those with haemolysis (P <0.01) or hypoproliferative anaemia (P <0.001). Financial constraints were the most common reason to elect xenotransfusion (49%). The post-transfusion mean packed cell volume was higher (P <0.001) in the X-group (22%) compared with the A-group (18%), and also higher (P <0.001) at 48–96 h post-transfusion (23% vs 18%, respectively). Transfusion-related adverse effects (TRAEs) were more frequent (P = 0.001) in the X-group (37.1%) compared with the A-group (19.4%), as were delayed haemolytic transfusion reactions (85% vs 42.5%, respectively; P <0.001). Acute transfusion reactions (ATRs) were more frequent (P <0.001) in the A-group (60%) compared with the X-group (20%). TRAEs were unassociated with survival to discharge. The survival to discharge rate of the X-group (55%) was lower (P = 0.007) than in the A-group (73%), while post-discharge survival rates to 30 days of cats surviving to discharge were 90% and 88%, respectively (P = 0.85). Conclusions and relevance: Canine blood xenotransfusions to cats might save lives in emergency conditions when AFB is unavailable or blood typing is infeasible. The survival to discharge rate of the X-group was lower than that of the A-group. The longer-term survival rate of cats administered xenotransfusions and surviving to discharge from the hospital was good.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
Volume25
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • Transfusion
  • anaemia
  • blood crossmatching
  • packed red blood cells
  • transfusion-related adverse effects

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