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J Vet Intern Med. 2007 Jan-Feb;21(1):100-6.

Procarbazine as adjunctive therapy for treatment of dogs with presumptive antemortem diagnosis of granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis: 21 cases (1998-2004).

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211, USA.



Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME) is an idiopathic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Remission often is short-lived in dogs treated with glucocorticoids. Procarbazine is T cell-specific and crosses the blood-brain barrier.


Dogs with presumptive antemortem diagnosis of GME given procarbazine as adjunctive therapy to prednisone will have improved long-term outcome compared with dogs given no treatment or glucocorticoids alone.


Two groups were studied: (1) Dogs with presumptive antemortem diagnosis of GME treated with procarbazine and prednisone (n = 21); (2) Dogs that had a histologic diagnosis of GME at postmortem examination and received no treatment (n = 11).


Dogs with presumptive GME treated with procarbazine were identified retrospectively from medical records of 2 veterinary referral hospitals. Selection criteria required all dogs have a neurologic examination, blood work, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, and brain imaging (MRI or CT).


Median survival time for all dogs studied was 5.0 months. Median survival time for dogs treated with procarbazine was 14.0 months and for untreated dogs, 0.73 months. Treatment with procarbazine was significantly correlated with survival time (P < .001). Procarbazine was the only independent predictor of survival. Prednisone was reduced in dosage or discontinued in 17 dogs. Adverse reactions to procarbazine therapy included myelosuppression in 7 dogs and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis in 3 dogs.


These data suggest that procarbazine treatment of presumptive GME may result in greater improved long-term outcome than has been previously reported for glucocorticoid treatment alone and may complement other immunomodulatory therapies. Procarbazine-treated dogs must be monitored for adverse reactions.

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