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J Feline Med Surg. 2017 Aug;19(8):809-816. doi: 10.1177/1098612X16658925. Epub 2016 Jul 18.

Usefulness of acute phase proteins in differentiating between feline infectious peritonitis and other diseases in cats with body cavity effusions.

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1 The Royal Veterinary College, Department of Clinical Science and Services, Hatfield, UK.
2 Small Animal Clinic, Internal Medicine, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Giessen, Germany.
Current address: Tierärztliche Klinik Stommeln, Pulheim, Germany.


Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the measurement of acute phase proteins (APPs) as a diagnostic tool to differentiate between feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and other diseases in cats with body cavity effusions. Methods Cats with pleural, abdominal or pericardial effusion were prospectively enrolled. Cats were classified as having or not having FIP based on immunohistochemistry (if available) or a sophisticated statistical method using machine learning methodology with concepts from game theory. Cats without FIP were further subdivided into three subgroups: cardiac disease, neoplasia and other diseases. Serum amyloid A (SAA), haptoglobin (Hp) and α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) were measured in serum and effusion, using assays previously validated in cats. Results Serum and effusion samples were available for the measurement of APPs from 88 and 67 cats, respectively. Concentrations of the APPs in serum and effusion were significantly different in cats with and without FIP ( P <0.001 for all three APPs). The best APP to distinguish between cats with and without FIP was AGP in the effusion; a cut-off value of 1550 µg/ml had a sensitivity and specificity of 93% each for diagnosing FIP. Conclusions and relevance AGP, particularly if measured in effusion, was found to be useful in differentiating between FIP and other diseases, while SAA and Hp were not. The concentration of all three APPs in some diseases (eg, septic processes, disseminated neoplasia) was as high as in cats with FIP; therefore, none of these can be recommended as a single diagnostic test for FIP.

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