OBJECTIVES: Angiostrongylus vasorum infection is associated with bleeding tendencies in approximately one-third of clinical cases. The cause of the coagulopathy is poorly understood but may be related to disseminated intravascular coagulation. Thromboelastography is a global evaluation of coagulation and has not been described in a cohort of dogs with this disease.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thromboelastography in association with other measures of coagulation including prothrombin and activated partial thromboplastin times, antithrombin percentage activity and D-dimer and von Willebrand factor concentrations was evaluated in a group of 30 dogs with A. varosum infection.
RESULTS: A total of 18 dogs had signs of bleeding on physical examination. Thromboelastography was consistent with hypocoagulation in 17 of these dogs. There was no association between any of the other measures and hypocoagulation on thromboelastography. Abnormal coagulation times were not significantly associated with bleeding. Only fibrinogen concentration was significantly lower in dogs that were bleeding compared with those that were not (P = 0 · 026). D-dimer concentrations were increased in 22/25 cases in the study; however, other coagulation parameters were more variable.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Although the changes identified in this study were not consistent, there is activation of coagulation within this population, possibly consistent with an intravascular disseminated coagulopathy.