Red Blood Cell Distribution Width, Hematology, and Serum Biochemistry in Dogs with Echocardiographically Estimated Precapillary and Postcapillary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
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Background: Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is a quantitative measurement of anisocytosis. RDW has prognostic value in humans with different cardiovascular and systemic disorders, but few studies have investigated this biomarker in dogs. Objectives: To compare the RDW in dogs with precapillary and postcapillary pulmonary hypertension (PH) and a control population of dogs and to correlate RDW with demographic, echocardiographic, and laboratory variables. Animals: One hundred and twenty-seven client-owned dogs including 19 healthy dogs, 82 dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease (50 dogs without PH and 32 dogs with postcapillary PH), and 26 dogs with precapillary PH. Methods: Prospective study. Dogs were allocated to groups according to clinical and echocardiographic evaluation. RDW and selected laboratory and echocardiographic variables were compared among dog groups. Associations between RDW and demographic, laboratory, and echocardiographic variables were analyzed using correlation and multiple regression analysis. Results: Median RDW in dogs with precapillary PH (13.8%, interquartile range 13.2-14.9%) and postcapillary PH (13.7, 13.2-14.7%) was significantly increased compared to healthy dogs (13.3, 12.3-13.7%; P < .05 for both comparisons), but only dogs with severe PH had significantly increased RDW compared to dogs without PH (P < .05). Peak tricuspid regurgitation pressure gradient was significantly associated with increased RDW (rho = 0.263, P = .007). Serum urea concentration, hematocrit, age, and white blood cell number were significantly associated with RDW in the multivariate analysis. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Underlying pathophysiologic processes associated with PH instead of severity of PH are likely responsible for increased RDW in dogs with PH.