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OBJECTIVES: To compare red cell distribution width (RDW) between dogs with different causes of pulmonary hypertension (PH) and a control dog population to determine whether RDW was correlated with severity of PH as measured by echocardiography. A further aim was to determine the prognostic significance of increased RDW for dogs with PH. ANIMALS: Forty-four client-owned dogs with PH and 79 control dogs presented to a single tertiary referral institution. METHODS: Signalment, clinical pathological and echocardiographic data were obtained retrospectively from the medical records of dogs with PH, and RDW measured on a Cell-Dyn 3500 was compared between dogs with pre- and post-capillary PH and a control population. Referring veterinary surgeons were contacted for follow-up information and Kaplan-Meier analysis was conducted to investigate differences in survival time between affected dogs with different RDW values. RESULTS: The RDW was significantly greater in dogs with pre-capillary PH compared to control dogs. There was no difference in median survival times between dogs with PH divided according to RDW values. The RDW was positively correlated with mean corpuscular volume and haematocrit in dogs with PH, but did not correlate with echocardiographic variables. CONCLUSIONS: An association was found between dogs with PH and increased RDW; however there was considerable overlap in values between control dogs and dogs with PH. The RDW was not associated with survival in this study.

Original publication




Journal article


J Vet Cardiol

Publication Date





227 - 235


Angiostrongylus vasorum, Canine, Erythrocyte, Sildenafil, Tricuspid regurgitation, Animals, Dog Diseases, Dogs, Erythrocyte Indices, Female, Hypertension, Pulmonary, Male