Evaluation of resting cortisol concentration testing in dogs with chronic gastrointestinal signs

Ana Fernandez Gallego, Alisdair Boag, Adam Gow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Resting cortisol concentrations are routinely measured in dogs with chronic gastrointestinal signs to rule out hypoadrenocorticism based on a concentration >2 μg/dL (>55 nmol/L).

HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES: To assess the cross-sectional prevalence of hypoadrenocorticism in a group of dogs with chronic gastrointestinal signs presented to a referral internal medicine service.

ANIMALS: Two-hundred and eighty-two client-owned dogs with chronic gastrointestinal signs and with resting cortisol concentration testing performed.

METHODS: Retrospective review of medical records (final diagnosis, resting cortisol concentration, and adenocorticotropic hormone [ACTH] stimulation test results) of a referral population of dogs between May 2013 and September 2017.

RESULTS: Resting cortisol concentration was <2 μg/dL (<55 nmol/L) in 79 patients (28%). Repeated resting cortisol concentration measurements were performed in 28 dogs, and in 8, resting cortisol concentrations remained <2 μg/dL (<55 nmol/L). Post-ACTH cortisol concentration was <2 μg/dL (<55 nmol/L) in 1 dog, consistent with a diagnosis of hypoadrenocorticism and giving a prevalence estimate of hypoadrenocorticism in this population of dogs of 0.3% (95% confidence interval [95CI], 0.03-1.5%). In 19 dogs with an initial resting cortisol concentration <2 μg/dL (<55 nmol/L), hypoadrenocorticism was excluded based on a repeat resting cortisol concentration >2 μg/dL (>55 nmol/L). Overall, the most common diagnosis was chronic primary inflammatory enteropathy (176/282, 62.4%), followed by extragastrointestinal neoplasia (17/282, 6%), protein-losing enteropathy, pancreatitis and megaesophagus (10/282, 3.5% each).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Although dogs with hypoadrenocorticism can present with chronic gastrointestinal signs, it was the final diagnosis in only 1 of 282 dogs presenting to a referral internal medicine service for signs of chronic enteropathy. Repeated resting cortisol concentration may be considered as a test to try and exclude hypoadrenocorticism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-531
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume36
Issue number2
Early online date3 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Resting Cortisol
  • Hypoadrenocorticism
  • chronic enteropathy
  • ACTH stimulation test,
  • Addison’s disease

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of resting cortisol concentration testing in dogs with chronic gastrointestinal signs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this