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Hyperphosphatasemia and concurrent adrenal gland dysfunction in apparently healthy Scottish Terriers

Kurt L. ZimmermanDepartment of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

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David L. PancieraDepartment of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

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Roger J. PancieraDepartment of Veterinary Pathobiology, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.

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Jack W. OliverDepartment of Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996.

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Walter E. HoffmannVeterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.

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Ellen M. BinderDepartment of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

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Daniel C. RandallFoothills Veterinary Hospital, 20 Rayford Ln, Greenville, SC 29609.

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Joseph H. KinnarneyReidsville Veterinary Hospital, 1401 W Harrison St, Reidsville, NC 27320.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine causes of hyperphosphatasemia (high serum alkaline phosphatase [ALP] activity) in apparently healthy Scottish Terriers.

Design—Prospective case-controlled study.

Animals—34 apparently healthy adult Scottish Terriers (17 with and 17 without hyperphosphatasemia).

Procedures—Serum activities for 3 isoforms (bone, liver, and corticosteroid) of ALP were measured. Concentrations of cortisol, progesterone, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione, estradiol, and aldosterone were measured before and after cosyntropin administration (ie, ACTH; 5 μg/kg [2.27 μg/lb], IM). Liver biopsy specimens from 16 dogs (11 with and 5 without hyperphosphatasemia) were evaluated histologically.

Results—In dogs with hyperphosphatasemia, the corticosteroid ALP isoform comprised a significantly higher percentage of total ALP activity, compared with the percentage in dogs without hyperphosphatasemia (mean ± SE, 69 ± 5.0% and 17 ± 3.8%, respectively). In 6 dogs with hyperphosphatasemia, but none without, serum cortisol concentrations exceeded reference intervals after ACTH stimulation. Six dogs with and 15 without hyperphosphatasemia had increased concentrations of ≥ 1 noncortisol steroid hormone after ACTH stimulation. Serum ALP activity was correlated with cortisol and androstenedione concentrations (r = 0.337 and 0.496, respectively) measured after ACTH stimulation. All dogs with and most without hyperphosphatasemia had abnormal hepatocellular reticulation typical of vacuolar hepatopathy. Subjectively, hepatocellular reticulation was more severe and widespread in hyperphosphatasemic dogs, compared with that in nonhyperphosphatasemic dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hyperphosphatasemia in apparently healthy Scottish Terriers was most likely attributable to hyperadrenocorticism on the basis of exaggerated serum biochemical responses to ACTH administration and histologic hepatic changes, but none of the dogs had clinical signs of hyperadrenocorticism.

Abstract

Objective—To determine causes of hyperphosphatasemia (high serum alkaline phosphatase [ALP] activity) in apparently healthy Scottish Terriers.

Design—Prospective case-controlled study.

Animals—34 apparently healthy adult Scottish Terriers (17 with and 17 without hyperphosphatasemia).

Procedures—Serum activities for 3 isoforms (bone, liver, and corticosteroid) of ALP were measured. Concentrations of cortisol, progesterone, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione, estradiol, and aldosterone were measured before and after cosyntropin administration (ie, ACTH; 5 μg/kg [2.27 μg/lb], IM). Liver biopsy specimens from 16 dogs (11 with and 5 without hyperphosphatasemia) were evaluated histologically.

Results—In dogs with hyperphosphatasemia, the corticosteroid ALP isoform comprised a significantly higher percentage of total ALP activity, compared with the percentage in dogs without hyperphosphatasemia (mean ± SE, 69 ± 5.0% and 17 ± 3.8%, respectively). In 6 dogs with hyperphosphatasemia, but none without, serum cortisol concentrations exceeded reference intervals after ACTH stimulation. Six dogs with and 15 without hyperphosphatasemia had increased concentrations of ≥ 1 noncortisol steroid hormone after ACTH stimulation. Serum ALP activity was correlated with cortisol and androstenedione concentrations (r = 0.337 and 0.496, respectively) measured after ACTH stimulation. All dogs with and most without hyperphosphatasemia had abnormal hepatocellular reticulation typical of vacuolar hepatopathy. Subjectively, hepatocellular reticulation was more severe and widespread in hyperphosphatasemic dogs, compared with that in nonhyperphosphatasemic dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hyperphosphatasemia in apparently healthy Scottish Terriers was most likely attributable to hyperadrenocorticism on the basis of exaggerated serum biochemical responses to ACTH administration and histologic hepatic changes, but none of the dogs had clinical signs of hyperadrenocorticism.

Contributor Notes

Supported by a grant from the American Kennel Club, Canine Health Foundation (ACORN 395).

Presented in part as an abstract at the American College of Veterinary Pathologists Annual Meeting in Savannah, Ga, November 2007.

Address correspondence to Dr. Zimmerman (kzimmerm@vt.edu).