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Veterinary Specialty Hospital - North County

Embolization of the Splenic Artery for Thrombocytopenia (eSPAT)


Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a disorder characterized by severely low platelets due to attack by white blood cells. This is often associated with bruising and occasionally severe bleeding episodes. The first-line treatment of ITP usually includes steroids, chemotherapies, and various other immunosuppressive agents. Treatments are targeted at rapid increases in circulating platelets, to decrease life-threatening bleeding. Embolization, a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure, has been used on the spleen to treat hypersplenism and splenic trauma in humans. A unique observation in these patients was the development of a consistent and prolonged thrombocytosis and erythrocytosis (high platelet count, high red blood cell count).Partial splenic embolization, where particles are dispensed to the blood vessels that feed the spleen, was subsequently used as a direct treatment for low platelets. The effectiveness of partial splenic artery embolization (PSAE) for ITP has been reported in humans, with curative responses occurring in >80% of patients, despite being refractory to traditional steroid therapy. Preclinical studies in dogs have demonstrated the safety of partial splenic artery embolization (PSAE) in healthy dogs. The primary aim of this study is to describe the procedure of PSAE in dogs diagnosed with ITP. A secondary aim will be to define feasibility by the extent and length of effect through serial platelet count monitoring.


  • Dogs weighing >4 kgs with a diagnosis of ITP

  • Platelet coung <40,000 platelets/uL


  • Veterinary Specialty Hospital – North County