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J Vet Intern Med. 2012 Jul-Aug;26(4):853-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2012.00950.x. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

Recombinant human thyrotropin in veterinary medicine: current use and future perspectives.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Clinical Biology of Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium.


Recombinant human thyrotropin (rhTSH) was developed after bovine thyrotropin (bTSH) was no longer commercially available. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) as an aid to diagnostic follow-up of differentiated thyroid carcinoma in humans and for thyroid remnant ablation with radioiodine. In addition, rhTSH is used in human medicine to evaluate thyroid reserve capacity and to enhance radioiodine uptake in patients with metastatic thyroid cancer and multinodular goiter. Likewise, rhTSH has been used in veterinary medicine over the last decade. The most important veterinary use of rhTSH is thyroidal functional reserve testing for the diagnosis of canine hypothyroidism. Recent pilot studies performed at Ghent University in Belgium have investigated the use of rhTSH to optimize radioiodine treatment of canine thyroid carcinoma and feline hyperthyroidism. Radioiodine treatment optimization may allow a decreased therapeutic dosage of radioiodine and thus may improve radioprotection. This review outlines the current uses of rhTSH in human and veterinary medicine, emphasizing research performed in dogs and cats, as well as potential future applications.

Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

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