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To determine whether ultrasonographic features in dogs with protein-losing nephropathy (PLN) were associated with renal biopsy findings and compare corticomedullary ratios between dogs with PLN versus non-renal disease.


71 dogs with PLN and 33 dogs without renal disease.


Medical records and archived ultrasonographic images for dogs with PLN that underwent renal biopsy between 2008 and 2018 were reviewed. Corticomedullary ratios were measured.


In dogs with PLN, median serum creatinine and BUN concentrations and urine-protein-to-creatinine-ratio prior to renal biopsy were 3.4 mg/dL (interquartile range [IQR], 1.2 to 5.3 mg/dL), 80 mg/dL (IQR, 28 to 105 mg/dL), and 11.4 (IQR, 6.4 to 18.3), respectively. Histologic abnormalities within the tubulointerstitial space were associated with cortical echogenicity. Gastric wall thickness > 5 mm was associated with a histologic diagnosis of acute glomerular disease. Dogs with immune complex–mediated glomerular disease were more likely to have abnormal gastric mural architecture. Other ultrasonographic features of the kidneys, liver, and stomach and the presence of ascites did not help to differentiate immune complex–mediated from non-immune complex–mediated glomerular disease, acute from chronic disease, or amyloid from non-amyloid disease or distinguish whether tubulointerstitial disease was present or absent. Median left corticomedullary ratio for 66 dogs with PLN (1.2) was significantly higher than that for the 33 dogs without renal disease (1.0).

Clinical Relevance

Ultrasonographic features were poorly associated with specific pathological disorders in dogs with PLN. In this study, the corticomedullary ratio was higher in dogs with PLN, indicating the presence of cortical thickening, but the clinical relevance is unknown.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research