Send to

Choose Destination
Vet Clin Pathol. 2010 Dec;39(4):485-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-165X.2010.00253.x. Epub 2010 Sep 28.

Blood-brain-barrier disruption in chronic canine hypothyroidism.

Author information

Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA.



Central nervous system (CNS) manifestations of hypothyroidism have been associated with cerebrovascular complications. Reports of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) abnormalities are rare in hypothyroid dogs.


The aim of this study was to determine if chronic hypothyroidism causes blood-brain-barrier (BBB) abnormalities that are detectable using indirect CSF biomarkers.


The study included 18 normal, euthyroid, female mixed-breed dogs. Hypothyroidism was induced by (131) iodine administration in 9 dogs; 9 served as untreated controls. Evaluations included physical and neurologic examination, complete CSF analysis, serum and CSF protein electrophoresis, measurement of plasma vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and serum S-100B concentrations, and calculation of CSF albumin quota (AQ) and were conducted at baseline and 6, 12, and 18 months after induction of hypothyroidism. Data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA.


At baseline, differences between groups were not detected for any variable. Throughout the study, controls dogs remained free of neurologic disease and had test variables that remained within reference intervals. Two hypothyroid dogs developed CNS signs during the study, and evidence of cerebrovascular disease was found at necropsy. At 12 and 18 months, the CSF total protein, VEGF, S-100B, and fractional albumin concentrations, and AQ were significantly higher (P<.04) in hypothyroid dogs than controls. Among test variables assayed in serum or plasma, the only significant difference was a higher S-100B concentration in hypothyroid dogs (P=.003) at 18 months.


BBB integrity is disrupted in chronic hypothyroidism. Significant increases in CSF concentrations of VEGF and S100-B in hypothyroid dogs indicate dysfunction in both endothelial and glial elements of the BBB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center