Objective—To determine whether basal serum or plasma cortisol concentration can be used as a screening test to rule out hypoadrenocorticism in dogs.
Design—Retrospective case-control study.
Animals—110 dogs with nonadrenal gland illnesses and 13 dogs with hypoadrenocorticism.
Procedures—Sensitivity and specificity of basal serum or plasma cortisol concentrations of either ≤ 1 μg/dL or ≤ 2 μg/dL to detect dogs with hypoadrenocorticism were estimated by use of the ACTH stimulation test as the gold standard.
Results—Basal cortisol concentrations of ≤ 1 μg/dL had excellent sensitivity (100%) and specificity (98.2%) for detecting dogs with hypoadrenocorticism. For basal cortisol concentrations of ≤ 2 μg/dL, sensitivity was 100% but specificity was 78.2%.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—On the basis of sensitivity and specificity, basal serum or plasma cortisol concentrations had high negative predictive values over a wide range of prevalence rates and can be used to rule out a diagnosis of hypoadrenocorticism. Dogs with basal cortisol concentrations > 2 μg/dL that are not receiving corticosteroids, mitotane, or ketoconazole are highly unlikely to have hypoadrenocorticism. However, if the basal cortisol concentration is ≤ 2 μg/dL, little to no information regarding adrenal gland function can be obtained and an ACTH stimulation test should be performed.
We would like to comment on the JAVMA News article in the November 15, 2021, issue “Taking the chronic out of enteropathies.”1 The article discusses the use of a panel of new serologic tests for inflammatory bowel disease, relying heavily on a research paper published in 2021 in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (JVIM) by Estruch et al.2 However, the News article fails to mention that the results of this study have been questioned due to lack of reporting and analytical assay