Platelet Function in Dogs with Chronic Liver Disease

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


Background: Dogs with acquired chronic liver disease often have hemostatic derangements. It is currently unknown whether dogs with acquired chronic liver disease have decreased platelet function and alterations in von Willebrand factor (vWF) that may contribute to hemostatic abnormalities.

Hypothesis: Dogs with chronic liver disease have prolonged platelet closure time (CT), assessed with the PFA-100®, and buccal mucosal bleeding time (BMBT), and increased vWF concentration compared to healthy dogs.

Animals: Eighteen dogs with chronic acquired liver disease undergoing ultrasound-guided needle biopsy of the liver or laparoscopic liver biopsy and eighteen healthy age-matched control dogs.

Methods: Prospective study. BMBT, CT using the PFA-100®, and vWF antigen were measured in dogs with chronic liver enzyme elevation undergoing ultrasound-guided needle biopsy of the liver or laparoscopic liver biopsy. After undergoing ultrasound-guided needle biopsy, dogs were monitored for hemorrhage with serial packed cell volume measurements and focused assessment with sonography. An unpaired t-test was used for normally distributed data and the Mann-Whitney test was used when non-Gaussian distribution was present. The level of significance was set at P <0.05.

Results: The CT was not different between the two groups (P = 0.27). The BMBT was significantly longer in the liver disease group compared to the control group (P = 0.019). There was no difference in the mean vWF antigen of the two groups (P = 0.077).

Conclusions and clinical relevance: These results demonstrate mild impairment of primary hemostasis in dogs with chronic liver disease based on prolongation of BMBT.



Platelet function, liver disease, chronic hepatitis, PFA-100, closure time, buccal mucosal bleeding time, von Willebrand factor, liver biopsy