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J Vet Intern Med. 2009 Jul-Aug;23(4):850-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2009.0328.x. Epub 2009 Jun 1.

Accuracy of an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) immunoluminometric assay for differentiating ACTH-dependent from ACTH-independent hyperadrenocorticism in dogs.

Author information

1
Internal Medicine Unit, National Veterinary School of Alfort, Maisons-Alfort, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) determination has been used for 30 years to distinguish ACTH-dependent hyperadrenocorticism (ADHAC) from ACTH-independent hyperadrenocorticism (AIHAC) in dogs. However, the few studies that have evaluated its diagnostic accuracy, based in the majority of cases on older assays, have been associated with systematic, but highly variable proportions of misclassified or unclassified cases.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the accuracy of a validated ACTH immunoluminometric assay (ILMA) for differentiating between ADHAC and AIHAC.

ANIMALS:

One hundred and nine dogs with hyperadrenocorticism were included: 91 with ADHAC and 18 with AIHAC.

METHODS:

Retrospective study. Dogs displaying feedback inhibition after the dexamethasone suppression test, adrenal symmetry, or both were considered to have ADHAC. AIHAC was demonstrated by adrenal tumor histology. For each group, ACTH determination by ILMA was reviewed.

RESULTS:

In the ADHAC group, plasma ACTH measurements ranged between 6 and 1250 pg/mL (median, 30 pg/mL). In the AIHAC group, all ACTH concentrations were below the lower quantification limit of the assay (<5 pg/mL). The 95% confidence interval was 85-100% for sensitivity and 97-100% for specificity in AIHAC diagnosis.

CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE:

No overlap in ACTH concentrations was observed between dogs with ADHAC and dogs with AIHAC. The use of a new technique with high analytical sensitivity made it possible to use a low threshold (5 pg/mL), avoiding the misclassification of some ADHAC cases with low, but quantifiable concentrations of ACTH. The assessment of ACTH concentrations by ILMA is an accurate tool for differentiating between ADHAC and AIHAC.

PMID:
19496909
DOI:
10.1111/j.1939-1676.2009.0328.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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