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Reply To: Hypoprotenaemia

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Thanks again for this question. I have pulled a few thoughts together.

Plasma is occasionally used in dogs and cats to transfuse albumin as a colloid to treat hypovolemia, but synthetic colloids are preferred. Plasma is not used in humans as a colloid, but this is because albumin solutions are available for this use. Human and bovine albumin solutions have been used in dogs and cats without side effects, but severe acute and delayed hypersensitivity reactions have also been reported. Commercial canine albumin is available as an alternative.

Canine albumin has been tested in healthy dogs and dogs with hypoalbuminemia and septic peritonitis. In healthy dogs, intravenous canine albumin administration caused no adverse effects (AEs). In the sick dogs, postsurgical canine albumin treatment markedly raised albumin levels without owner-reported AEs. Unfortunately, canine albumin is not readily available.

BSA is readily available yet reportedly has caused anti-albumin antibody development and hypersensitivity reactions in healthy dogs.

Plasma and albumin solutions may also be used to improve plasma oncotic pressure and reduce oedema. Unfortunately this is inefficient, but will provide short-term benefit. About 22.5 mL/kg is required to raise plasma albumin by 0.5 mg/dL (5 g/L). 40% of total body albumin is normally found in the plasma and 60% in the interstitium, with the ratio shifted towards plasma in hypoproteinaemia. Upon albumin transfusion, the ratio shifts back towards the interstitium. Frequent large volume plasma transfusions or albumin transfusions are needed to maintain albumin levels, especially if hypoproteinaemia is caused by protein loss.

Hope this helps.

Scott x