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Merck Veterinary Manual

Merck Veterinary Manual

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MERCK VETERINARY MANUAL - SUMMARY
 Merck Veterinary Manual - Summary1
 
Circulatory SystemRed Blood Cells
The only known hemoglobinopathy of animals is porphyria. Although described in several species, it is most importantas a cause of photosensitivity in cattle (
).In most species, the kidney is both the sensor organ and the major site of erythropoietin production, so chronic renalfailure is associated with anemia. Erythropoietin acts on the marrow in concert with other humoral mediators to increase thenumber of stem cells entering RBC production, to shorten maturation time, and to cause early release of reticulocytes.Removal of aged RBC normally occurs by phagocytosis by the fixed macrophages of the spleen. After phagocytosisand subsequent disruption of the cell membrane, Hgb is converted to heme and globin. Iron is released from the hememoiety and either stored in the macrophage as ferritin or hemosiderin, or released into the circulation for transport back tothe marrow. The remaining heme is converted to bilirubin, which is released by the macrophages into the systemiccirculation where it complexes with albumin for transport to the hepatocytes; there, it is conjugated and excreted into the bile. In extravascular hemolytic anemias, RBC have a shortened life span, and the same mechanisms occur at an increasedrate.About 1% of normal aging RBC are hemolyzed in the circulation, and free Hgb is released. This is quickly converted toHgb dimers that bind to haptoglobin and are transported to the liver, where they are metabolized in the same manner as are products from RBC removed by phagocytosis. In intravascular hemolytic anemia, more RBC are destroyed in thecirculation (hemoglobinemia) than can be bound to haptoglobin. The excess Hgb and, therefore, iron are excreted in theurine (hemoglobinuria).The principal metabolic pathway of RBC is glycolysis, and the main energy source in most species is glucose. Theenergy of ATP is used to maintain RBC membrane pumps so as to preserve shape and flexibility.The glucose not used in glycolysis is metabolized via a second pathway, the hexose monophosphate (HMP) shunt. Noenergy is produced via the HMP shunt; its principal effect is to maintain reducing potential in the form of reducednicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH).Excessive oxidant stress may overload the protective HMP shunt or methemoglobin reductase pathways and, thereby,cause Heinz body hemolysis or methemoglobin formation, respectively. Hemolytic anemias caused by certain drugs, suchas phenothiazine in horses or acetaminophen in cats, are examples of this mechanism.
See also
anemia,
 .Iron is the limiting factor in chronic blood loss. Hemolysis may be caused by toxins, infectious agents, congenitalabnormalities, or antibodies directed against RBC membrane antigens. Decreased RBC production may result from primarymarrow diseases (such as aplastic anemia, hematopoietic malignancy, or myelofibrosis) or from other causes such as renalfailure, drugs, toxins, or antibodies directed against RBC precursors.
White Blood CellsPhagocytes:
 Mononuclear phagocytes arise primarily from the marrow and are released into the blood as monocytes. They maycirculate for hours to a few days before entering the tissues and differentiating to become macrophages. Granulocytes have asegmented nucleus and are classified according to their staining characteristics as neutrophils,eosinophils, or basophils. . Neutrophils circulate for only a few hours before travelling to the tissues.
Lymphocytes:
 Lymphocytes are responsible for both humoral and cellular immunity. Lymphocyte production in mammals originatesin the bone marrow. Some of the lymphocytes destined to be involved in cellular immunity migrate to the thymus anddifferentiate further under the influence of thymic hormones. These become “T cells” and are responsible for a variety of helper, suppressor, or cytotoxic immunologic functions. Most circulating lymphocytes are T cells, but many are also presentin the spleen and lymph nodes. The B cells migrate directly to organs without undergoing modification in the thymus andare responsible for humoral immunity (antibody production).Thus, lymphoid organs have populations of both B and T lymphocytes. In the lymph nodes, follicular centers are primarily B cells, and parafollicular zones are primarily T cells. In the spleen, most of the lymphocytes of the red pulp are Bcells, whereas those of the periarteriolar lymphoid sheaths are T cells.The humoral immune system is composed of B lymphocytes that produce antibodies of several classes. Whensensitized B lymphocytes encounter antigen, they undergo blast transformation, divide, and differentiate into plasma cellsthat produce antibody. Therefore, each B lymphocyte initially stimulated produces a clone of plasma cells, all producing thesame specific antibody.
 Merck Veterinary Manual - Summary2
 
Antibody molecules (immunoglobulins) fall into several classes, each with its own functional characteristics. For example, IgA is the principal antibody of respiratory and intestinal secretions, IgM is the first antibody produced inresponse to a newly recognized antigen, IgG is the principal antibody of the circulating blood, and IgE is the principalantibody involved in allergic reactions.Helper T cells are required for full expression of a humoral immune response. Suppressor T cells dampen the production of a given antibody. Natural killer cells, which are a class of lymphocyte distinct from T cells and B cells,destroy foreign cells (eg, neoplastic cells) even without prior sensitization.Lymphocyte response in disease may be appropriate (activation of the immune system) or inappropriate (immune-mediated disease and lymphoproliferative malignancies).
See also
immune system
et seq
. Immune-mediated disease resultsfrom failure of the immune system to recognize host tissues as self. For example, in immune-mediated hemolytic anemia,antibodies are produced against the host's own RBC.
Platelets
Platelets form the initial hemostatic plug whenever hemorrhage occurs. They also are the source of phospholipid, whichis needed for coagulation factors to interact to form a fibrin clot. Platelets are produced in the bone marrow frommegakaryocytes, under the influence of thrombopoietin. Platelet production begins with invagination of the megakaryocytecell membrane and the formation of cytoplasmic channels and islands.Platelet disorders are either quantitative (thrombocytopenia or thrombocytosis) or qualitative (thrombocytopathy).Thrombocytopenia is one of the most common bleeding disorders of animals. In general, platelet counts must fall to<50,000/µL before the risk of hemorrhage increases.Thrombocytosis occurs only rarely and is often idiopathic. It may be associated with primary marrow disease such as inmegakaryocytic leukemia. Thrombocytosis is often associated with chronic blood loss and iron deficiency because of increased platelet production in the marrow reacting to continued consumption and loss.Thrombocytopathies comprise a poorly defined group of diseases in which platelet numbers are normal, but their function is impaired. Von Willebrand's disease is characterized by both a plasma coagulation defect and a defect in plateletadhesion to the endothelium.
Anemia: Introduction
Anemia is a condition characterized by insufficient circulating hemoglobin (Hgb). It results from excessive red bloodcell (RBC) destruction, RBC loss, or decreased RBC production. Anemias can be regenerative or nonregenerative (
). Regenerative anemias show evidence of response by the bone marrow to increase the number of circulating RBC. This response is measured by the quantity of reticulocytes (immature RBC) present in the circulation.Regenerative anemias have a high reticulocyte count and are due to RBC loss or destruction. In a nonregenerative anemia,the bone marrow responds poorly and the reticulocyte count is low. Anemias can also be acute or chronic. Most commonly,acute anemias are due to either RBC loss or destruction. Chronic anemias are usually due to lack of RBC production,although slow blood loss can also be a cause.
RBC indices
are used to further characterize and classify anemias. The mean corpuscular volume (MCV) is anindication of RBC size. The MCV (femtoliters) = (PCV × 10) ÷ RBC (millions). As RBC precursors mature in the bonemarrow, their volume decreases as the Hgb content increases. Therefore, reticulocytes have a higher MCV, and the MCV isincreased in regenerative anemias.
An anemia with a high MCV is classified as a macrocytic anemia
. RBC size issmaller than normal when iron is insufficient, which results in decreased quantities of Hgb and a decreased MCV.
Ananemia with a low MCV is classified as a microcytic anemia
. A low MCV in an anemic adult animal indicates irondeficiency from a slow loss of blood (usually GI or renal). A low MCV is seen in the Akita and Shiba Inu, which normallyhave small RBC. A low MCV may be seen in some cases of congenital hepatic shunts. The mean corpuscular hemoglobinconcentration (MCHC) indicates the concentration of hemoglobin per unit volume of RBC. The MCHC (g/dL) = (Hgb ×100) ÷ PCV. It provides similar information as the mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) but is considered to be moreaccurate. The MCH (picograms) = (Hgb × 10) ÷ RBC (millions). A low MCHC accompanying macrocytosis is indicative of a regenerative anemia.Laboratory diagnosis of anemia is based on the Hgb concentration, the number of RBC, and the hematocrit or packedcell volume (PCV). The next essential test is the reticulocyte count. Reticulocytes are polychromatic cells when stained withWright's stain or a Giemsa-type stain. The vital stain new methylene blue specifically stains reticulocytes. Reticulocytosis isfirst seen 72 hr after the onset of significant blood loss or hemolysis. Peak reticulocyte response occurs within 5-7 days.The reticulocyte index = animal's PCV × % reticulocytes ÷ normal PCV. A value >1 indicates an appropriate response.
 Merck Veterinary Manual - Summary3

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