Evaluation of immunosuppressive regimens for immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia: a retrospective study of 42 dogs.
Swann JW., Skelly BJ.
OBJECTIVES: Immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA) is a severe disease for which evidence is lacking to make informed choices regarding immunosuppressive regimen. The aims of the current study were to determine the effect of different treatment regimens on outcome in affected animals and to identify parameters that may be used as prognostic factors for the disease. METHODS: The records of dogs presenting to a veterinary hospital in the period 2002 to 2010 for treatment of IMHA were examined and follow-up data were obtained. Statistical tests were performed to establish whether treatment regimen affected outcome and to identify prognostic factors for outcome. RESULTS: Treatment regimen had a significant effect on the outcome (measured as survival of hospitalisation) but there were insufficient subjects to determine the cause of the difference. Serum bilirubin and urea concentrations were found to be significant negative prognostic factors for the outcome of IMHA cases and the concentrations of these parameters were significantly different between animals that survived or died while hospitalised. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: This study presents the first report of a significant difference in outcome comparing animals treated with immunosuppressive drugs which are in widespread clinical usage. Although possible confounding factors should be considered, these findings could have major consequences for the treatment of IMHA.