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Use of human immunoglobulin in addition to glucocorticoids for the initial treatment of dogs with immune-mediated hemolytic anemia.

Author(s): Whelan MF, O'Toole TE, Chan DL, Rozanski EA, DeLaforcade AM, Crawford SL, Cotter SM

Affiliation(s): Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536, USA.

Publication date & source: 2009-04, J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio)., 19(2):158-64.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

OBJECTIVE: To determine the utility of human intravenous immunoglobulin (hIVIG) for the initial treatment of canine immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA). DESIGN: Blinded, randomized, clinical trial. SETTING: Veterinary teaching hospital. ANIMALS: Twenty-eight, client-owned dogs with primary IMHA. INTERVENTIONS: At enrollment, after diagnosis of IMHA, dogs were randomly assigned to receive either hIVIG or placebo, in a blinded fashion. For the next 14 days, all dogs received glucocorticoids as the sole immunosuppressant agent. All dogs received low-molecular-weight heparin as an anticoagulant. D-dimer concentrations were evaluated at the beginning and end of the study protocol to monitor for thromboembolic complications. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Twenty-five of 28 dogs (89%) were discharged from the hospital. Thirteen of those received hIVIG and 12 received placebo. Twenty-four dogs (86%) were alive 14 days after enrollment, and of these 13 received hIVIG and 11 received placebo. D-dimer concentrations were elevated in 86% of all dogs at the time of diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: For initial treatment of dogs with IMHA, the addition of hIVIG to corticosteroid treatment did not improve initial response, nor did it shorten hospitalization.

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