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Use of recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone for thyrotropin stimulation testing in euthyroid ferrets

Jörg Mayer Dr Med Vet, MSc, DABVP1, Robert Wagner VMD, DABVP2, Mark A. Mitchell DVM, PhD3, and Kellie Fecteau PhD4
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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 2 Division of Laboratory Animal Services, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.
  • | 4 Clinical Endocrinology Service, Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effects of IM administration of recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone (rhTSH) on plasma total thyroxine (T4) concentrations in euthyroid ferrets.

Design—Evaluation study.

Animals—25 healthy neutered ferrets (14 female and 11 male) of various ages from 2 populations (laboratory ferrets from Georgia and pet ferrets from Pennsylvania).

Procedures—Each ferret underwent a physical examination and standard hematologic testing to ensure it was healthy and had clinically normal thyroid function. Once determined to be euthyroid, ferrets received a single IM injection of 100 μg of rhTSH. Blood samples were collected into plasma-separator tubes immediately before the rhTSH injection (time 0) and 4 hours after injection to measure T4 concentrations.

Results—Males did not differ from females in regard to prestimulation or poststimulation plasma T4 concentrations; however, prestimulation and poststimulation T4 concentrations were significantly different between the 2 groups of ferrets. A significant difference was also identified between prestimulation T4 concentration (mean ± SD, 21.3 ± 6.1 nmol/L) and poststimulation T4 concentration (29.9 ± 8.2 nmol/L). All 25 ferrets had high poststimulation T4 concentrations (median difference, 7. 5 nmol/L; 10% to 90% interval, 3.26 to 17.70 nmol/L [0.25 to 1.38 μg/dL]; range, 2.50 to 20.70 nmol/L [0.19 to 1.61 μg/dL]); this represented a median increase in T4 concentration of 35% (10% to 90% interval, 18% to 81%; range, 8% to 126%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that rhTSH can be used for thyrotropin stimulation testing in ferrets when administered IM. According to the findings, a euthyroid ferret should have an increase of approximately 30% in plasma T4 concentration 4 hours after rhTSH injection.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effects of IM administration of recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone (rhTSH) on plasma total thyroxine (T4) concentrations in euthyroid ferrets.

Design—Evaluation study.

Animals—25 healthy neutered ferrets (14 female and 11 male) of various ages from 2 populations (laboratory ferrets from Georgia and pet ferrets from Pennsylvania).

Procedures—Each ferret underwent a physical examination and standard hematologic testing to ensure it was healthy and had clinically normal thyroid function. Once determined to be euthyroid, ferrets received a single IM injection of 100 μg of rhTSH. Blood samples were collected into plasma-separator tubes immediately before the rhTSH injection (time 0) and 4 hours after injection to measure T4 concentrations.

Results—Males did not differ from females in regard to prestimulation or poststimulation plasma T4 concentrations; however, prestimulation and poststimulation T4 concentrations were significantly different between the 2 groups of ferrets. A significant difference was also identified between prestimulation T4 concentration (mean ± SD, 21.3 ± 6.1 nmol/L) and poststimulation T4 concentration (29.9 ± 8.2 nmol/L). All 25 ferrets had high poststimulation T4 concentrations (median difference, 7. 5 nmol/L; 10% to 90% interval, 3.26 to 17.70 nmol/L [0.25 to 1.38 μg/dL]; range, 2.50 to 20.70 nmol/L [0.19 to 1.61 μg/dL]); this represented a median increase in T4 concentration of 35% (10% to 90% interval, 18% to 81%; range, 8% to 126%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that rhTSH can be used for thyrotropin stimulation testing in ferrets when administered IM. According to the findings, a euthyroid ferret should have an increase of approximately 30% in plasma T4 concentration 4 hours after rhTSH injection.

Contributor Notes

Presented in part at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, Oakland, Calif, October 2012.

Address correspondence to Dr. Mayer (mayerj@uga.edu).