Effect of Duration of Red Blood Cell Storage on Transfusion-Associated Inflammation in Dogs with Anemia

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Study Type: Clinical Study
Study Location: University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

The overall goal of this research is to improve the safety of canine red blood cell (RBC) transfusions. RBCs can be refrigerator stored for up to 35 - 42 days in humans and dogs. Given that blood is a precious and limited resource, both human and veterinary blood banks typically dispense the oldest RBC units first to reduce wastage. However, accumulating evidence suggests that transfusion of RBCs stored greater than 14 days is associated with increased rates of complications and death in human patients. Preliminary data from a study of more than 2000 dogs receiving RBC transfusions suggest that administration of older RBCs to dogs with certain types of anemia negatively impacts survival. Our goal is to conduct a randomized clinical trial in which dogs with immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) and immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (IMT), in need of RBC transfusions, will receive either “fresh” RBCs (stored <7 days) or “old” RBCs (stored 21-28 days). If we document that administration of older RBCs is associated with increased inflammation and poorer outcome in dogs with anemia, the results of this study will have a significant impact on canine health and veterinary blood banks by changing our current transfusion practices; that is, by providing fresh rather than older RBCs to certain anemic canine patients. However, the need for blood banks to discard older RBCs could lead to a shortage of RBC units. Therefore, such practice should only be undertaken with the support of strong data, which our study seeks to provide.

More Information


Contact Information:
Name:  Mary Beth Callan
Email:  callan@vet.upenn.edu
Phone:  215-898-3999

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