Objective: To determine reference values for kaolin-activated thromboelastography in echocardiographically normal cats.
Animals: 30 healthy cats without evidence of cardiomyopathy on echocardiographic examination.
Procedures: All cats underwent echocardiographic examination, the findings of which were reviewed by a board-certified cardiologist. Cats that struggled (n = 10) received mild sedation with butorphanol and midazolam IM to permit phlebotomy without interruption in jugular venous blood flow. Blood samples were collected for analysis of thromboelastography variables, PCV, total solids concentration, platelet count, activated partial thromboplastin time, prothrombin time, fibrinogen concentration, and antithrombin concentration.
Results: All 4 thromboelastography variables had < 5% mean intra-assay variability. Mean values were as follows: reaction time, 4.3 minutes; clotting time, 1.6 minutes; α angle, 66.5°; and maximum amplitude, 56.4 mm. Compared with nonsedated cats, cats that required sedation had a significantly shorter clotting time and greater α angle, whereas reaction time and maximum amplitude were not significantly different.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Kaolin-activated thromboelastography was a reliable test with unremarkable intra-assay variability in echocardiographically normal cats. Sedation may affect certain thromboelastography variables, but the effect is unlikely to be clinically important. It remains unknown whether subclinical cardiomyopathy has a significant effect on thromboelastography variables in cats.