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Myocardial taurine concentrations were measured in cats with cardiac disease and in healthy cats fed diets with various concentrations of taurine. Group 1 was composed of 26 cats with 3 categories of naturally developing cardiac disease: dilatative cardiomyopathy (group 1A), 10 cats; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (group 1B), 9 cats; and volume overload (group 1C), 7 cats. These cats had been fed various commercial diets. Group 2 was composed of 40 healthy cats that had been fed diets varying in taurine concentration (0 to 1% taurine) for at least 2 years.

Mean myocardial taurine concentrations did not differ significantly between group-1 cats with dilatative cardiomyopathy and those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or volume overload. Cats in group 1A had a mean myocardial taurine concentration 3 times higher than healthy cats fed a taurine-free diet (P< 0.002). Mean myocardial taurine concentrations did not differ significantly between group-1A cats and healthy cats fed a diet containing 0.02% taurine; group-1A cats had significantly lower mean myocardial taurine concentrations than did healthy cats fed a synthetic diet containing 0.05 or 1.0% taurine (P < 0.001). Acute oral administration of taurine in 5 group-1A cats appeared to increase mean myocardial taurine concentrations, compared with similar cats not given taurine during treatment for cardiac failure. In group-2 cats, mean myocardial taurine concentrations increased directly with percentage of dietary taurine.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


A white Bengal tiger was determined to have a central retinal lesion and a central visual defect. Because of the known association between feline central retinal degeneration (crd) and taurine deficiency in domestic cats, plasma concentrations of taurine were measured in this tiger. Serum concentrations of taurine, methionine, and cystine also were measured in white Bengal tigers, orange Bengal tigers, taurine-sufficient domestic cats, and taurine-deprived and tissue-taurine-depleted visually impaired cats with crd. Hepatic and brain enzymes responsible for taurine synthesis were identified in tissue specimens from an orange Bengal tiger. Serum taurine concentrations were lower in white vs orange tigers, but were not as low as those in cats with crd. Thus, we concluded that taurine depletion did not account for the central retinal lesion in the white Bengal tiger.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association