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J Vet Intern Med. 2012 Jul-Aug;26(4):945-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2012.00959.x. Epub 2012 Jun 18.

Concentrations of noncortisol adrenal steroids in response to ACTH in dogs with adrenal-dependent hyperadrenocorticism, pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism, and nonadrenal illness.

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1
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg 25061, VA, USA. monroewe@vt.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Increases of adrenal hormone concentrations other than cortisol have been reported in dogs with hyperadrenocorticism (HAC).

HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES:

Measuring noncortisol adrenal hormone concentrations will help identify HAC in dogs. The objective was to determine plasma cortisol, androstenedione, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, and 17-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations during ACTH stimulation testing of dogs with clinical signs of HAC to ascertain their utility in diagnosis of the disease.

ANIMALS:

Ninety dogs with clinical findings consistent with HAC had ACTH stimulation tests performed. Results from 29 dogs were excluded from analysis because diagnoses were inconclusive for a variety of reasons. Results from 32 dogs with HAC and 29 dogs with disease other than HAC were analyzed.

METHODS:

Prospective observational study. Concentrations of adrenocortical hormones were determined before and 1 hour after injecting 5 μg/kg ACTH IM. Diagnoses were determined by response to therapy, histopathology or both.

RESULTS:

Post-ACTH cortisol (P < .001), progesterone (P = .001), and 17-hydroxyprogesterone (P < .001) concentrations were associated with a diagnosis of HAC. Sensitivity and specificity, respectively, for diagnosing HAC for post-ACTH cortisol were 84 and 59%, progesterone 88 and 55%, and 17-hydroxyprogesterone 91 and 59%, and for post-ACTH cortisol, progesterone and 17-hydroxyprogesterone combined were 88 and 55%. Of 5 dogs with HAC and normal post-ACTH cortisol concentrations, 5 had increased progesterone and 4 had increased 17-hydroxyprogesterone.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE:

Serum progesterone and 17-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations were useful to diagnose HAC in this study, but were not more sensitive or specific than cortisol concentration.

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