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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2008 Sep;20(5):644-9.

Homocysteine measurement by an enzymatic method and potential role of homocysteine as a biomarker in dogs.

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  • 1Veterinary Clinic Malpensa-Samarate, Varese, Italy.


In humans, homocysteine (Hcy) is employed to monitor renal, cardiovascular, and other diseases and their complications. The aim of the current study was to define the analytical performances of an enzymatic method not yet validated in dogs for measuring homocysteine, and to assess the possible clinical usefulness of Hcy measurement. Using conventional approaches, the analytical performances were investigated by assessing, imprecision, inaccuracy, and interference of hemoglobin, triglycerides, and bilirubin. The possible clinical usefulness of Hcy determination was assessed by comparing the results of healthy dogs (n = 8) with those of dogs with heart disease (n = 10), inflammation (n = 6), gastrointestinal disorders (n = 7), neoplasia (n = 8), renal failure (n = 4), trauma (n = 7), and other miscellaneous diseases (n = 6). Preliminary evaluation of this enzymatic method showed it to be precise at Hcy levels close to or higher than the values in dogs with renal or cardiac disorders that had the highest Hcy levels. By contrast, at low Hcy levels, which were recorded basically in control dogs, the method suffers from high imprecision. The sample of choice is serum. The use of icteric samples should be avoided, while hemoglobin and lipids have only a minor effect on Hcy measurement. In conclusion, the enzymatic method employed in the current study provides useful information in dogs and could be used to monitor cardiac and renal disorders, in which Hcy concentrations are elevated.

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