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Am J Vet Res. 2006 Dec;67(12):2012-6.

Evaluation of recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone to test thyroid function in dogs suspected of having hypothyroidism.

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  • 1Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.



To evaluate the use of recombinant human (rh) thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in dogs with suspected hypothyroidism.


64 dogs with clinical signs of hypothyroidism.


Dogs received rhTSH (75 microg/dog, IV) at a dose independent of their body weight. Blood samples were taken before and 6 hours after rhTSH administration for determination of total serum thyroxine (T(4)) concentration. Dogs were placed into 1 of 3 groups as follows: those with normal (ie, poststimulation values indicative of euthyroidism), unchanged (ie, poststimulation values indicative of hypothyroidism; no thyroid gland stimulation), or intermediate (ie, poststimulation values between unchanged and normal values) post-TSH T(4) concentrations. Serum canine TSH (cTSH) concentration was determined in prestimulation serum (ie, before TSH administration).


14, 35, and 15 dogs had unchanged, normal, and intermediate post-TSH T(4) concentrations, respectively. Basal T(4) and post-TSH T(4) concentrations were significantly different among groups. On the basis of basal serum T(4) and cTSH concentrations alone, 1 euthyroid (normal post-TSH T(4), low basal T(4), and high cTSH concentrations) and 1 hypothyroid dog (unchanged post-TSH T(4) concentration and low to with-in reference range T(4) and cTSH concentrations) would have been misinterpreted as hypothyroid and euthyroid, respectively. Nine of the 15 dogs with intermediate post-TSHT(4) concentrations had received medication known to affect thyroid function prior to the test, and 2 of them had severe nonthyroidal disease.


The TSH-stimulation test with rhTSH is a valuable diagnostic tool to assess thyroid function in selected dogs in which a diagnosis of hypothyroidism cannot be based on basal T(4) and cTSH concentrations alone.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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