Idiopathic red cell aplasia

From Cat

Feline idiopathic pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) is a rare congenital or acquired immune-mediated disorder of the blood[1].

The congenital variant of this disease is thought to be caused by genetic defect(s) in erythropoietic stem-cell lines, whereas the acquired disease is often idiopathic (unknown cause), although exposure to toxins or drugs may be possible[2].

Clinical signs

Although most cats have subclinical signs, diagnosis is usually confirmed by blood tests, which reveal a normocytic, normochromic anaemia with a reticulocytopaenia in the presence of normal white blood cells and platelet counts.


Primary diagnosis of this disease is confirmed by presenting blood tests augmented by bone marrow aspiration which usually reveals erythroid hypoplasia or aplasia with normal to increased granulopoiesis and megakaryopoiesis[3].


  1. Viviano, K & Webb, J (2011) Clinical use of cyclosporine as an adjunctive therapy in the management of feline idiopathic pure red cell aplasia. JFMS 13:885-895
  2. Stokol, T & Blue, J (1999) Pure red cell aplasia in cats: 9 cases (1989-1997). J Am Vet Med Assoc 214:75-79
  3. Weiss, DJ (2008) Bone marrow pathology in dogs and cats with non-regenerative immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia and pure red cell aplasia. J Comp Pathol 138:46-53