Treatment of three cats with hyperviscosity syndrome and congestive heart failure using plasmapheresis

J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2011 Jan-Feb;47(1):50-5. doi: 10.5326/JAAHA-MS-5635. Epub 2010 Dec 16.


Three cats were evaluated at a veterinary teaching hospital for congestive heart failure (CHF) secondary to hyperviscosity syndrome from plasma cell neoplasia. All cats had severe hyperproteinemia due to hyperglobulinemia. Multiple myeloma or plasma cell neoplasia was diagnosed based on cytopathology and post mortem examination. The cats presented with signs of CHF including acute collapse, tachypnea, increased respiratory effort, and pulmonary crackles. All cats had heart murmurs and echocardiographic signs consistent with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. An enlarged left atrium was found in all cats and two of three cats also had spontaneous echocardiographic contrast. Plasmapheresis (centrifugal plasma exchange) was performed on all three cats by the removal of whole blood and the infusion of a balanced electrolyte solution while the whole blood was centrifuged and separated. The RBCs were then washed before being readministered to the patient. Plasmapheresis alleviated the clinical signs of CHF (tachypnea) in all three cats. Plasmapheresis should be considered in cases of CHF secondary to hyperviscosity syndrome to rapidly alleviate clinical signs associated with heart failure while diagnosis of the underlying cause is made and appropriate therapy implemented.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Viscosity / physiology*
  • Cat Diseases / etiology
  • Cat Diseases / therapy*
  • Cats
  • Heart Failure / etiology
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Heart Failure / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Plasmapheresis / veterinary*
  • Syndrome
  • Treatment Outcome