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Aust Vet J. 2000 Jun;78(6):416-22.

Plasma and urinary trypsinogen activation peptide in healthy dogs, dogs with pancreatitis and dogs with other systemic diseases.

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Department of Small Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland.



To determine the specificity and sensitivity of plasma and urinary trypsinogen activation peptide (TAP) concentrations in diagnosing pancreatitis in dogs.


Retrospective analysis of clinical cases.


Dogs were classified into three groups: healthy animals, dogs with confirmed pancreatitis and dogs with nonpancreatic disease, which clinically or biochemically resembled pancreatitis. This last group was further subdivided into dogs with renal and those with nonrenal disease. The plasma and urinary TAP concentration was determined by a competitive enzyme immunoassay. Clinical cases additionally had serum trypsin-like immunoreactivity concentration measured, as well as radiography and ultrasound of the abdomen and further diagnostic procedures. Nonparametric analysis of variance (Kruskal-Wallis test) was performed using Statistix 4.0 program.


There was a wide range of urinary TAP concentration in healthy dogs (mean 52.30 nmol/L, standard deviation 55.25) that made interpretation of urinary TAP concentrations difficult in the other groups. There was a narrow reference range for plasma TAP (mean 2.67 nmol/L, standard deviation 0.93). Plasma and urinary TAP concentrations, as well as urinary TAP to creatinine ratio, were all increased in dogs that died with necrotising pancreatitis. Values were not increased in mild, interstitial pancreatitis. Increased plasma TAP concentrations were also present in dogs with severe renal disease.


Plasma TAP concentration is a good prognostic indicator in naturally occurring pancreatitis in dogs. The failure of TAP to increase in mild pancreatitis, and the increase present in severe renal disease, suggests its measurement has limited application as a sole diagnostic tool for canine pancreatitis. Further investigations are required in order to explain the large variability of urinary TAP concentration and the presence of circulating TAP in healthy dogs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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