Evaluation of canine red blood cell quality after processing with an automated cell salvage device

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To evaluate the properties of RBC concentrate harvested after processing fresh whole blood units from healthy dogs with an automated cell salvage device.


Prospective, in vitro, experimental study.


University teaching hospital.


Sixteen healthy, privately owned dogs of various breeds.


Fresh canine whole blood collected in bags with citrate phosphate dextrose adenine solution was processed with an automated cell salvage device and analyzed in vitro. Laboratory values determined before (baseline, from a catheter sample) and after processing RBCs (procRBCs) included a complete blood count, selected blood chemistry analytes, erythrocyte osmotic resistance, whole blood viscosity, RBC aggregation, and RBC deformability.

Measurements and Main Results

Total recovery of RBCs was 80% ± 12%. Hematocrit of the procRBCs yielded by the device was 77% ± 3.7% (mean ± standard deviation). Gross morphology of the RBCs remained unchanged. The mean corpuscular volume, erythrocyte osmotic resistance, RBC deformability, RBC aggregation, and the activity of lactate dehydrogenase showed minor but statistically significant changes from baseline. No differences in the concentrations of free hemoglobin were observed. Whole blood viscosity was less in the procRBCs. Seventy-seven percent (mean) of the platelets were washed out, while a mean of 57% of the leukocytes remained in the procRBCs.


Although processing canine blood with this automated cell salvage device leads to slight changes in some properties of RBCs, most of these changes are comparable to changes seen in human blood after processing. Present data indicate that the use of this cell salvage device does not induce changes in canine RBC concentrate that would preclude its use for transfusion.

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