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  • Author or Editor: Andrew C. Bugbee x
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OBJECTIVE To evaluate use of cortisol concentration prior to ACTH stimulation (baseline) to monitor efficacy of twice-daily administration of trilostane to dogs with pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism (PDH).

DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 22 dogs with PDH.

PROCEDURES The database of a veterinary hospital was searched to identify dogs with PDH that were treated with the FDA-approved veterinary formulation of trilostane twice daily between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2012. For each dog, signalment and details regarding each hospital visit including comorbidities, electrolyte concentrations, and clinical signs were extracted from the record. For each ACTH stimulation test performed, the respective correlations between baseline cortisol concentration and the cortisol concentration after ACTH stimulation (ACTH-stimulated cortisol concentration) and resultant decision regarding trilostane dose adjustment were determined. Excessive suppression of cortisol production was defined as an ACTH-stimulated cortisol concentration < 2.0 μg/dL. The ability of various baseline cortisol concentrations to predict whether a dog had excessive suppression of cortisol production was determined.

RESULTS 109 ACTH stimulation tests were performed for the 22 dogs. A baseline cortisol concentration > 3.2 μg/dL predicted that ACTH-stimulated cortisol concentration would be ≥ 2.0 μg/dL with 100% certainty; however, 14 of 64 tests with a baseline cortisol concentration > 3.2 μg/dL had an ACTH-stimulated cortisol concentration ≤ 3.2 μg/dL, which was suggestive of inadequate adrenocortical cortisol reserves.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that baseline cortisol concentration should not be used as the sole monitoring tool for management of dogs with PDH treated with trilostane twice daily. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2016;248:814–821)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the effects of dexamethasone or synthetic ACTH administration on endogenous ACTH concentrations in healthy dogs.

Animals—10 healthy neutered dogs.

Procedures—Each dog received dexamethasone (0.01 mg/kg), synthetic ACTH (5 μg/kg), or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (0.5 mL) IV at intervals of ≥ 30 days. Plasma endogenous ACTH concentrations were measured before (baseline; time 0) and 1, 8, 12, and 24 hours after drug administration; serum cortisol concentrations were measured before and 1 hour after synthetic ACTH and saline solution administration and 8 hours after dexamethasone administration.

Results—Analysis of serum cortisol concentrations confirmed effects of drug administration. Dexamethasone significantly decreased the endogenous ACTH concentration from the baseline value at both 8 and 12 hours. Synthetic ACTH administration significantly decreased the endogenous ACTH concentration from the baseline value at 8 hours. Saline solution administration had no significant effect on endogenous ACTH concentration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dexamethasone and synthetic ACTH administered IV at doses used routinely during testing for hyperadrenocorticism caused significant but transient reductions of endogenous ACTH concentrations in healthy dogs. Thus, a 2-hour washout period following ACTH stimulation testing before collection of samples for measurement of the endogenous ACTH concentration may be insufficient. Although this effect has not been verified in dogs with hyperadrenocorticism, these data suggested that samples for measurement of endogenous ACTH concentrations should be obtained before or > 8 hours after initiation of an ACTH stimulation test or before or > 12 hours after the start of a low-dose dexamethasone suppression test.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research