Effect of diet on Heinz body formation in kittens.

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23 Scopus citations


Heinz body formation was examined in kittens, in response to consumption of a variety of diets. A commercial salmon-based diet containing 16.5 mg of nitrite, 39 mg of histamine, and 210,000 IU of vitamin A/kg of diet (dry-matter basis) was found to induce Heinz body formation. Purified experimental diets--containing nitrite up to 405 mg/kg; histamine, 50 mg/kg; histamine 50 mg/kg plus nitrite, 45 mg/kg; or vitamin A, 250,000 IU/kg--failed to induce Heinz body formation. The effect of propylene glycol (PG) on Heinz body formation was examined by giving groups of 6 kittens purified diets containing 5 or 10% PG for 12 weeks. Two additional kittens were fed a commercial soft-moist diet containing PG for 12 weeks. All kittens fed PG developed Heinz bodies, with peak values for erythrocytes containing Heinz bodies being: 28% for kittens of the 10% PG group; 20% for kittens of the 5% PG group; and 36% for kittens of the soft-moist diet group. Kittens did not develop anemia or methemoglobinemia. Heinz body percentage required 6 to 8 weeks to decrease to the pretreatment value of less than 1% after diets containing PG were discontinued. 51Chromium-labeled erythrocytes were used to evaluate erythrocyte survival in 4 kittens of the 10% PG-fed group and in 4 control kittens. Kittens with Heinz body formation induced by 10% PG had significantly (P less than 0.001) decreased erythrocyte-survival, compared with that for controls, with half-life of 8.3 days for kittens of the PG group, compared with 12.6 days for kittens of the control group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-478
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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