Background: Recognition of the feline red blood cell (RBC) antigen Mik and the presence of naturally occurring anti-Mik antibodies resulting in acute hemolytic transfusion reactions prompted the recommendation to perform a crossmatch before a cat's first RBC transfusion, but this guideline has not yet become a standard practice.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of naturally occurring non-AB alloantibodies detectable by tube crossmatch, and to compare transfusion outcomes in cats with and without a crossmatch performed.
Animals: Three hundred cats that received an RBC transfusion, with or without a major crossmatch performed.
Methods: Retrospective study.
Results: Major crossmatch incompatibilities were documented in 23 of 154 transfusion-naive cats (14.9%) and in 15 of 55 previously transfused cats (27%; P = 0.042). Type-specific packed RBCs (pRBCs) were administered to 167 and 82 cats with and without a crossmatch, respectively. Median volume of pRBCs administered during the first transfusion was 5.3 mL/kg (range, 2.4-18 mL/kg). Median change in PCV scaled to dose of pRBCs was +0.8%/mL/kg; administration of crossmatch-compatible pRBCs was not associated with a greater increase in PCV. Febrile transfusion reactions occurred more often in cats that received non-crossmatched (10.1%) compared to crossmatched (2.5%) pRBCs (P = 0.022). Seventy-six percent of cats that received pRBC transfusions survived to hospital discharge. A crossmatch was not associated with improved survival to discharge or at 30 or 60 days posttransfusion.
Conclusions and clinical importance: The prevalence of naturally occurring non-AB incompatibilities is sufficiently high to justify the recommendation to perform a crossmatch before all (including the first) RBC transfusions in cats.
Keywords: Mik antigen; crossmatch incompatibility; packed red blood cells; transfusion reaction.
© 2018 The Authors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.