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Investigation of the urine cortisol to creatinine ratio for the diagnosis of hypoadrenocorticism in dogs

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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
  • | 2 Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratio (UCCR) for the diagnosis of hypoadrenocorticism (HA) in dogs and to determine whether the method of urine cortisol measurement affects results. 

ANIMALS

41 dogs with naturally occurring HA and 107 dogs with nonadrenal illness.

PROCEDURES

Urine samples were prospectively collected from dogs undergoing testing for HA. Urine cortisol concentrations were measured at a veterinary diagnostic laboratory using either a radioimmunoassay (RIA) or a chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed to assess UCCR performance by both methods for HA diagnosis. Sensitivities, specificities, accuracies, and predictive values were calculated for various cutpoints.

RESULTS

The areas under the ROC curves for UCCR diagnosis of HA were 0.99 (95% CI, 0.98 to 1.00) and 1.00 (95% CI, 1.00 to 1.00) when urine cortisol was determined by RIA and CLIA, respectively. An RIA UCCR of ≤ 2 was 97.2% sensitive, 93.6% specific, and 94.7% accurate for HA diagnosis, whereas a CLIA UCCR of ≤ 10 was 100% sensitive, specific, and accurate. An RIA UCCR > 4 and a CLIA UCCR of > 10 had negative predictive values of 100%.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The UCCR was an accurate diagnostic test for HA in this study population, although equivocal results are possible. Case characteristics, method of cortisol measurement, and laboratory-specific cutpoints must be considered when interpreting results.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratio (UCCR) for the diagnosis of hypoadrenocorticism (HA) in dogs and to determine whether the method of urine cortisol measurement affects results. 

ANIMALS

41 dogs with naturally occurring HA and 107 dogs with nonadrenal illness.

PROCEDURES

Urine samples were prospectively collected from dogs undergoing testing for HA. Urine cortisol concentrations were measured at a veterinary diagnostic laboratory using either a radioimmunoassay (RIA) or a chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed to assess UCCR performance by both methods for HA diagnosis. Sensitivities, specificities, accuracies, and predictive values were calculated for various cutpoints.

RESULTS

The areas under the ROC curves for UCCR diagnosis of HA were 0.99 (95% CI, 0.98 to 1.00) and 1.00 (95% CI, 1.00 to 1.00) when urine cortisol was determined by RIA and CLIA, respectively. An RIA UCCR of ≤ 2 was 97.2% sensitive, 93.6% specific, and 94.7% accurate for HA diagnosis, whereas a CLIA UCCR of ≤ 10 was 100% sensitive, specific, and accurate. An RIA UCCR > 4 and a CLIA UCCR of > 10 had negative predictive values of 100%.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The UCCR was an accurate diagnostic test for HA in this study population, although equivocal results are possible. Case characteristics, method of cortisol measurement, and laboratory-specific cutpoints must be considered when interpreting results.

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Dr. Langlois (langlo21@msu.edu)