Haematology and coagulation profiles in cats with congenital portosystemic shunts

Caitlin Tzounos, Mickey Tivers, Sophie Adamantos, Kate English, A Rees, Victoria Lipscomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
314 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: The objectives of this study were, first, to report the haematological parameters and coagulation times for cats with a congenital portosystemic shunt (CPSS) and the influence of surgical shunt attenuation on these parameters; and, second, to identify any association between prolongation in coagulation profiles and incidence of perioperative haemorrhage. Methods: This was a retrospective clinical study using client-owned cats with a CPSS. Signalment, shunt type (extra- or intrahepatic), degree of shunt attenuation (complete or partial), haematological parameters, prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) test results, and occurrence of any perioperative clinical bleeding complications were recorded for cats undergoing surgical treatment of a CPSS at the Royal Veterinary College, UK, between 1994 and 2011. Results: Forty-two cats were included. Thirty-six (85.7%) had an extrahepatic CPSS and six (14.3%) had an intrahepatic CPSS. Preoperatively, mean cell volume (MCV) and mean cell haemoglobin (MCH) were below the reference interval (RI) in 32 (76.2%) and 31 (73.8%) cats, respectively. Red blood cell count and mean cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) were above the RI in 10 (23.8%) and eight (19.1%) cats, respectively. Postoperatively, there were significant increases in haematocrit (P = 0.044), MCV (P = 0.008) and MCH (P = 0.002). Despite the significant increase in MCV postoperatively, the median MCV postoperatively was below the RI, indicating persistence of microcytosis. Preoperatively, PT was above the upper RI in 14 cats (87.5%), and aPTT was above the upper RI in 11 cats (68.8%). No cat demonstrated a perioperative clinical bleeding complication. Conclusions and relevance: Cats with a CPSS are likely to present with a microcytosis, but rarely present with anaemia, leukocytosis or thrombocytopenia. Surgical attenuation of the CPSS results in a significant increase in the HCT and MCV. Coagulation profiles in cats with a CPSS are likely to be prolonged, irrespective of shunt type, but do not appear to be associated with an increased risk of clinical bleeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1290-1296
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
Issue number12
Early online date1 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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