Reticulocyte indices have been suggested as alternatives to transferrin saturation (TSAT) for iron status assessment in humans and dogs but they have not been evaluated thoroughly in cats.
To assess the value of the reticulocyte indices for the diagnosis of iron deficiency in cats with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and chronic hematuria associated with subcutaneous ureteral bypasses (SUBs).
Sixty-four cats: 16 healthy, 14 CKD without SUB, and 34 CKD with SUB.
Prospective observational cross-sectional study of cats presented for routine nephrology visits. Primary outcomes included assessment of the diagnostic values of erythrocyte indices (mean corpuscular volume, hemoglobin, and hemoglobin concentration: MCV, MCH, and MCHC) and reticulocyte indices (mean corpuscular volume, MCVr; corpuscular hemoglobin, CHr), using TSAT as reference.
Iron deficiency was diagnosed in 9/64 cats (14%). A receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis yielded a moderate discriminatory value for CHr in this diagnosis: area under the curve [AUC] = .75 (95% confidence interval, 0.48-0.89); P = .006; sensitivity 67%, specificity 82% for a cutoff of 15.9 pg. This compared favorably to MCVr (AUC = .63; P = .29), MCV (AUC = .58; P = .45), MCH (AUC = .64; P = .19), and MCHC (AUC = .7; P = .03).
CHr added moderate value to the diagnosis of iron deficiency in cats with CKD.

© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.