Retrospective evaluation of thrombocytopenia and tumor stage as prognostic indicators in dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma

Alison R. Masyr, Aaron K. Rendahl, Amber L. Winter, Antonella Borgatti, Jaime F. Modiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE To identify physical examination and perioperative CBC variables in dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma (HSA) that could aid in predicting progression-free interval (PFI) and overall survival time (OST) in affected dogs. ANIMALS 70 client-owned dogs with splenic HSA treated with splenectomy and chemotherapy between September 2004 and October 2016. PROCEDURES A retrospective search of the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center medical records database was performed to identify dogs with splenic HSA treated with splenectomy and with evidence in the medical records of intent to treat with chemotherapy. Data collection included dog signalment and body surface area, results from CBCs performed within 6 days before to 2 days after splenectomy, whether dogs had hemoabdomen or received transfusions, and tumor stage. Hematocrit, WBC count, and platelet count were treated as categorical variables (divided into terciles: above, within, or below reference limits) because of variation among reference intervals for the numerous analyzers used. Associations between variables and PFI or OST were investigated with Cox regression analyses, and hazard ratios (HRs) for a shorter PFI or OST were reported. Population Pearson correlation coefficient (ρ) analysis was performed to identify potential associations between variables of interest. RESULTS Stage 3 HSA was identified as a negative prognostic indicator of PFI (HR, 6.6) and OST (HR, 4.5). Perioperative thrombocytopenia was similarly associated with shorter PFI (HR, 2.2) and OST (HR, 2.0). Results for Hct correlated (ρ = 0.58) with those for platelet count, and although our findings did not indicate a notable association between anemia and shorter PFI, such could not be ruled out. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The prognostic value of thrombocytopenia warrants further substantiation to understand causal and mechanistic connections, and the presence of thrombocytopenia ultimately may prove valuable in guiding treatment recommendations for dogs with splenic HSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-637
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funded in part by the Animal Cancer Care and Research Program of the University of Minnesota. Dr. Modiano is supported by the Alvin and June Perlman Chair in Animal Oncology. The authors declare there were no conflicts of interest. The authors thank Dr. Laura Garrett for her intellectual insights.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Veterinary Medical Association. All rights reserved.


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