1988: Identification of a Safe Storage Time for Canine Blood Used In the Treatment of Anemia

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $113,499
Mary Beth Callan, VMD; University of Pennsylvania
January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2017

Sponsor(s): Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, Collie Health Foundation, English Setter Association of America, Inc., National Beagle Club

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Immunology and Infectious Disease
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Red blood cells (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 waste. However, accumulating evidence suggests that transfusion of RBCs stored >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 impact survival. Dr. Callan's goal is to conduct a randomized clinical trial in which dogs with anemia in need of RBC transfusions will receive either "fresh" RBCs (stored <7 days) or "old" RBCs (stored 21-28 days). If they 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 current transfusion practices; that is, by providing fresh rather than older RBCs to anemic canine patients.


Callan, M. B., Thawley, V. J., Marryott, K. A., Shabro, A., Fernando, S., Kahn, S., Hudson, K. E., & Hod, E. A. (2021). Hemolytic anemia blunts the cytokine response to transfusion of older red blood cells in mice and dogs. Transfusion. https://doi.org/10.1111/trf.16690

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