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J Vet Intern Med. 2012 Mar-Apr;26(2):363-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2011.00864.x. Epub 2012 Feb 1.

The use of darbepoetin to stimulate erythropoiesis in anemia of chronic kidney disease in cats: 25 cases.

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1
Internal Medicine Department, The Animal Medical Center, New York, NY 10065, USA. schalhoub@charlestonvrc.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Anemia is present in 30-65% in cats with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and few long-term treatment options exist. Darbepoetin is effective in treating anemia of kidney disease in humans and may be used in cats.

HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the use of darbepoetin, a recombinant analog of human erythropoietin, to stimulate erythropoiesis, and to effectively treat anemia of kidney disease in cats.

ANIMALS:

Twenty-five of 66 cats that received ≥ 2 doses of darbepoetin at the Animal Medical Center between January 2005 and December 2009 were included in this study.

METHODS:

Cats were included in the study if they received darbepoetin and follow-up data were available for at least 56 days and had CKD as a primary clinical diagnosis. Cats were excluded if they were treated with darbepoetin but did not have kidney disease. Response to treatment was defined as reaching or exceeding a target packed red blood cell volume or hematocrit of 25%.

RESULTS:

Fourteen of 25 cats responded. Thirteen of those 14 cats received a dosage of 1 μg/kg/wk or higher. Presumptive adverse effects included vomiting, hypertension, seizures, and fever.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Darbepoetin is effective for treatment of anemia of kidney disease in cats. Pure red cell aplasia appears to be less common with darbepoetin than with epoetin usage.

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