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Res Vet Sci. 2009 Apr;86(2):223-9. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2008.06.006. Epub 2008 Aug 9.

Diurnal ACTH and plasma cortisol variations in healthy dogs and in those with pituitary-dependent Cushing's syndrome before and after treatment with retinoic acid.

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  • 1A. Clínica Médica de Pequeños Animales, Hospital Escuela de Med Veterinaria, Unidad de Endocrinología, Chorroarín 280, 1424 Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Cap. Fed., Argentina.


Daytime variations in ACTH and plasma cortisol were studied in healthy dogs and in dogs with pituitary-dependent hypercortisolism (PDH), before and after treatment with retinoic acid. In control dogs ACTH showed a higher concentration at 8.00 AM and between 2.00 and 6.00 PM, with the lowest concentration registered at 10.00 AM (p<0.05 vs. 8.00 AM and 2.00 PM and p<0.01 vs. 4.00 PM). Cortisol did not show significant differences. In dogs with PDH, ACTH was lower at 8.00 AM (ACTH: p<0.01 vs. 2.00 and 4.00 PM; and p<0.05 vs. 6.00 PM). The lowest cortisol concentration was registered at 8.00 AM and 8.00 PM and the highest at 4.00 PM (p<0.05 vs. 8.00 AM and p<0.01 vs. 8.00 PM). After treatment, the lowest ACTH concentration was registered at 10.00 AM (p<0.01 vs. 2.00 and 4.00 PM). To conclude, the adrenal is desensitized in PDH possibly showing negative in diagnostic tests.

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