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Open Vet J. 2018;8(2):193-199. doi: 10.4314/ovj.v8i2.13. Epub 2018 May 30.

Metformin reduces insulin resistance and the tendency toward hyperglycaemia and dyslipidaemia in dogs with hyperadrenocorticism.

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Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Cátedra de Clínica Médica de Pequeños Animales y Hospital Escuela de Medicina Veterinaria, Unidad de Endocrinología, Av. Chorroarín 280, Buenos Aires CP 1427, Argentina.
Laboratorio de Endocrinología Molecular y Transducción de Señales, Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental - CONICET, Vuelta de Obligado 2490, Buenos Aires CP 1428, Argentina.


Hypercortisolism induces a state of insulin resistance that can occur concurrently with fasting hyperglycaemia, dyslipidaemia and diabetes mellitus. Metformin reduces hepatic glucose production and insulin resistance of the skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of metformin on the control of metabolic disorders of dogs with hyperadrenocorticism (HAC). Twenty-three dogs with HAC were randomly divided into two groups, consisting of a control group and a metformin group (10 mg metformin/kg/12 h). Both groups received the same treatment for HAC. At baseline and 3 months, blood glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin concentrations, in addition to urinary cortisol:creatinine ratio, Homeostatic Model Assessment (HOMA) for insulin sensitivity and β-cell function were measured. Dogs treated with metformin showed significantly reduced glycaemia, cholesterolaemia and triglyceridaemia. They also presented reduced hyperinsulinism and insulin resistance, as well as improved pancreatic β-cell function. The implementation of metformin as an adjuvant therapy is effective for the normalisation of metabolic disorders of dogs with HAC.


Dyslipidaemia; Hyperadrenocorticism; Insulin resistance; Metformin

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