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Development of a clinical severity index for dogs with acute pancreatitis

Caroline S. Mansfield BSc, BVMS, MVM1, Fleur E. James BSc, BVMS2, and Ian D. Robertson BVSc, PhD3
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia.

Abstract

Objective—To establish a clinical severity index that correlates severity of body system abnormalities with outcome in dogs with acute pancreatitis (AP) and determine the usefulness of serum C-reactive protein (C-RP) concentration as an objective measure of AP severity.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—61 client-owned dogs with ultrasonographically or histologically confirmed AP.

Procedures—Medical records of AP-affected dogs were reviewed, and signalment, physical examination findings, clinicopathologic data, and outcome (death or discharge from the hospital) were evaluated. The correlation of specific abnormalities in endocrine, hepatic, renal, hematopoietic, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems; local pancreatic complications; and intestinal integrity were evaluated, and a clinical severity index was developed for AP in dogs. The severity index score was compared with outcome and, for 12 dogs, with serum C-RP concentration.

Results—The clinical severity index had a good correlation with outcome and interval from hospital admission until end point (days until outcome), but there was no difference in days until outcome between survivors and nonsurvivors. All 12 dogs evaluated had high serum C-RP concentration, but this variable was not related to outcome; however, within a 2-day period after onset of clinical signs, serum C-RP concentration in survivors and nonsurvivors differed significantly.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Among AP-affected dogs, the clinical severity index may be useful for treatment comparisons and prediction of intensive management requirements. Serum C-RP concentration was best related to AP severity within a 2-day period after onset of clinical signs, but daily measurement may be more useful for monitoring progress.

Abstract

Objective—To establish a clinical severity index that correlates severity of body system abnormalities with outcome in dogs with acute pancreatitis (AP) and determine the usefulness of serum C-reactive protein (C-RP) concentration as an objective measure of AP severity.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—61 client-owned dogs with ultrasonographically or histologically confirmed AP.

Procedures—Medical records of AP-affected dogs were reviewed, and signalment, physical examination findings, clinicopathologic data, and outcome (death or discharge from the hospital) were evaluated. The correlation of specific abnormalities in endocrine, hepatic, renal, hematopoietic, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems; local pancreatic complications; and intestinal integrity were evaluated, and a clinical severity index was developed for AP in dogs. The severity index score was compared with outcome and, for 12 dogs, with serum C-RP concentration.

Results—The clinical severity index had a good correlation with outcome and interval from hospital admission until end point (days until outcome), but there was no difference in days until outcome between survivors and nonsurvivors. All 12 dogs evaluated had high serum C-RP concentration, but this variable was not related to outcome; however, within a 2-day period after onset of clinical signs, serum C-RP concentration in survivors and nonsurvivors differed significantly.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Among AP-affected dogs, the clinical severity index may be useful for treatment comparisons and prediction of intensive management requirements. Serum C-RP concentration was best related to AP severity within a 2-day period after onset of clinical signs, but daily measurement may be more useful for monitoring progress.

Contributor Notes

Supported in part by an Early Career Researchers Grant from Murdoch University.

Address correspondence to Dr. Mansfield.