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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To determine whether prevalence of naturally developing chronic infection with Trypanosoma cruzi in dogs in Texas changed between 1987 and 1996 and to characterize clinical aspects of the disease.


Retrospective study.


11 dogs with chronic infection with T cruzi.


Number of positive serologic test results for T cruzi obtained between 1987 and 1996 were compared with the number of tests for T cruzi performed during the same period. Survival time, signalment, and clinical signs of dogs and results of thoracic radiography, electrocardiography, and echocardiography were evaluated. The Mann-Whitney test was used to assess the association between age at time of initial examination and survival time.


The proportion of positive test results increased, compared with the number of tests submitted, during the 9-year period. Clinical signs in affected dogs were consistent with right-sided cardiac disease. Results of thoracic radiography were nonspecific. Conduction disturbances and supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias were evident. Echocardiographic abnormalities, including chamber enlargement and functional impairment, were detected. Dogs were characterized on the basis of survival time; group-1 dogs (n = 6) survived 0 to 5 months, and group-2 dogs (5) survived 31 to 60 months. Age at time of initial examination was associated with survival time.

Clinical Implications—

Clinical course of disease varied. Electrocardiographic and echocardiographic changes may be detected. Clinicians should be aware of the potential for T cruzi infection in dogs with clinical signs of right-sided cardiac dysfunction and unexplained conduction disturbances and arrhythmias. Prevalence of this disease may be increasing in some regions of Texas. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;213:497-500)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To determine effects of blood contamination on western blot (WB) analysis of CSF samples for detection of anti-Sarcocystis neurona antibodies, and on CSF albumin and IgG concentrations, albumin quotient (AQ), and IgG index in horses.


Prospective in vitro study.


Blood with various degrees of immunoreactivity against S neurona was collected from 12 healthy horses. Cerebrospinal fluid without immunoreactivity against S neurona was harvested from 4 recently euthanatized horses.


Blood was serially diluted with pooled nonimmunoreactive CSF so that final dilutions corresponded to 10-3 to 100 μl of blood/ml CSF, and WB analysis was performed on contaminated CSF samples. Number of RBC, albumin and IgG concentrations, AQ, and IgG index were also determined.


Antibodies against S neurona were detected in CSF contaminated with 10-3 μl of strongly immunoreactive blood/ml. In CSF samples contaminated with 10 μl of blood/ml, AQ remained within reference range. Volume of blood required to increase IgG index varied among blood samples and was primarily influenced by serum IgG concentrations. Number of RBC in contaminated samples was correlated with volume of blood added, but not with degree of immunoreactivity detected in contaminated CSF samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

During collection of CSF from horses, contamination with blood may introduce serum antibodies against S neurona at concentrations sufficient for detection by WB analysis, thus yielding false-positive results. When blood is moderately or strongly immunoreactive, the amount of contaminating albumin may be small enough as to not increase AQ above reference range. In these cases, AQ and IgG index should be interpreted with caution. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;215:67—71)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate concordance among veterinary pathologists in the assessment of histologic findings in the pars intermedia of pituitary gland sections from aged horses with mild signs suggestive of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID).

Sample Population—10 pituitary glands from aged horses.

Procedure—7 pathologists were provided with signalment, clinical signs, and a single H&E-stained pituitary gland section from 10 aged horses with mild signs suggestive of PPID. Pathologists described histologic findings for each section and stated whether findings were consistent with PPID. Agreement among pathologists and with antemortem diagnostic test results was calculated.

Results—Overall, only fair agreement was found among the pathologists as to which horses had histologic findings consistent with disease (mean ± SE kappa value, 0.34 ± 0.069). Interpretation of individual sections varied, with minimal agreement (4 or 5/7 pathologists) for 5 of 10 sections evaluated. Postmortem assessment was in agreement with an antemortem endocrine diagnostic test result 79% of the time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Validation of antemortem diagnostic testing for PPID in horses often relies on the results of postmortem histologic evaluation. The lack of consensus in histologic interpretation of pituitary glands from aged horses with mild clinical signs in our study indicates that postmortem histologic evaluation of pituitary glands is an inappropriate standard in validation of antemortem diagnostic tests for detection of early PPID. Caution should be used when interpreting diagnostic test results in horses in which early PPID is suspected. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:2055–2059)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine immunoreactivity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, -3, and -13 in cartilaginous tumors of dogs, correlate expression of MMP with histologic grade of tumors and clinical outcome of dogs, and compare MMP immunoreactivity between chondrosarcomas and chondromas.

Sample Population—Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues obtained from samples of naturally occurring chondrosarcomas (n = 31) and chondromas (8) of dogs that were submitted to our veterinary medical diagnostic laboratory.

Procedure—Histologic sections from each sample were stained with H&E and monoclonal antibody to MMP-1, -3, and -13 by use of an avidin-peroxidase immunohistochemical technique. For each section, histologic grade (I, II, or III) and immunohistochemical expression (0, 1, 2, or 3) were evaluated. Clinical outcome was obtained from medical records or interviews with referring veterinarians and scored as a good outcome, moderate outcome, or poor outcome. Correlations among variables and differences between chondrosarcomas and chondromas were analyzed.

Results—Samples from chondrosarcomas had significantly higher immunoreactivity of MMP-1 and -13, compared with immunoreactivity in samples from chondromas. In chondrosarcomas, a significant positive correlation (r, 0.386) was found between MMP-1 and -13 immunoreactivities, and a significant negative correlation (r, –0.390) was detected between MMP-3 and -13 immunoreactivities.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—A significant increase in expression of collagenases (MMP-1 and - 13) in chondrosarcomas, compared with expression in chondromas, suggests that collagenases may play an important role in tumor progression, and possibly metastasis, in chondrosarcomas of dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1285–1291)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research