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J Vet Intern Med. 2003 Mar-Apr;17(2):194-8.

Relationship of disease progression and plasma histamine concentrations in 11 dogs with mast cell tumors.

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Laboratory of Veterinary Surgery, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


Plasma histamine concentrations (PHCs) were measured serially over 9 months or until death in 11 dogs with mast cell tumors (MCTs). Eight dogs had grossly visible disease and the other 3 dogs had microscopic disease. Initial PHCs in the dogs with gross disease were significantly higher than PHCs in healthy dogs (median, 0.73 ng/mL and 0.19 ng/mL respectively; P < .009), whereas initial PHCs in dogs with microscopic disease showed no difference from controls. Seven dogs subsequently had progressive increases in PHC, and developed hyperhistaminemia (median, 14.0 ng/mL; range, 5.11-30.1 ng/nL). These 7 dogs died from MCTs, and 1 had general weakness with rapid lysis of a large tumor burden after radiation therapy. PHCs of the other 4 dogs were less than 1 ng/mL during the study. These 4 dogs were still alive with adequate control of the tumor at the conclusion of the study. Four of the 11 dogs initially had gastrointestinal (G1) signs, which abated soon after administration of histamine-2 (H-2) blockers. No significant difference was found between PHCs in dogs with GI signs and those without GI signs (median, 0.86 ng/mL and 0.35 ng/mL. respectively). Thereafter, 7 dogs had serious GI complications for which H-2 blocker therapy was ineffective. PHCs in these 7 dogs were extremely high (median, 12.2 ng/mL; range, 3.42-30.1 ng/nL). Results of this study demonsrated that PHC was one factor related to disease progression, and indicated that marked hyperhistaminemia was associated with the GI signs refractory to H-2 blocker therapy in dogs with MCTs.

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