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OBJECTIVE To determine whether plasma ACTH concentrations vary following administration of a thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) solution prepared for research purposes and stored at −20°C (rTRH) or prepared by a compounding pharmacy and stored at room temperature (approx 22°C; cTRH).

ANIMALS 34 adult horses.

PROCEDURES The study consisted of 2 experiments. In experiment 1, each horse underwent 2 TRH stimulation tests separated by 24 hours; 10 horses were administered cTRH for the first test and rTRH for the second test (group 1), 10 horses were administered rTRH for the first test and cTRH for the second test (group 2), and 10 horses were administered rTRH for both tests (group 3). Plasma ACTH concentrations were measured at 0 (baseline) and 30 minutes after TRH administration and the delta ACTH responses (change in ACTH concentration after TRH administration) were calculated. In experiment 2, the design was the same as that for experiment 1 except there were 14 days between tests, ACTH was measured at 0 and 10 minutes after TRH administration, and 11, 9, and 10 horses were assigned to groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively.

RESULTS Adverse effects associated with TRH administration included transient coughing and yawning. In experiment 1, the median delta ACTH response for the second test was significantly lower than that for the first test for all groups. In experiment 2, the median delta ACTH response did not differ significantly between the first and second tests for any group, ACTH concentrations after rTRH administration were positively correlated (r s = 0.95) with those after cTRH administration, and the mean ± SD bias in post-TRH ACTH concentration between rTRH and cTRH was 2.9 ± 12.4 pg/mL.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that the TRH stimulation test should not be repeated within 24 hours, and cTRH solution stored at room temperature could be used to effectively perform TRH stimulation testing in horses.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To assess effects of withholding feed on thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) stimulation test results used in diagnosis of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction in horses and determine effects of combined testing on results of the TRH stimulation test and the oral sugar test (OST) used in diagnosis of equine metabolic syndrome.

ANIMALS 30 adult horses.

PROCEDURES All horses underwent TRH stimulation tests under fed and nonfed conditions, an OST alone, and an OST combined with TRH stimulation testing. For TRH stimulation tests, plasma ACTH concentrations were measured before (baseline) and 10 minutes after (poststimulation) IV TRH administration. For the OST, plasma glucose and insulin concentrations were measured before (baseline) and 60 and 90 minutes after oral corn syrup administration. For combined testing, the TRH stimulation test was initiated immediately after 60-minute posttreatment sample collection for the OST. Results were compared among methods by Wilcoxon matched-pairs, signed rank tests, paired t tests, and Bland-Altman analysis.

RESULTS Feeding conditions did not affect median ACTH concentrations when TRH stimulation tests were performed alone. Median baseline ACTH concentration did not differ between TRH stimulation tests performed alone (under fed or nonfed conditions) and those combined with OSTs. Median poststimulation ACTH concentration was significantly lower for combined tests than for solitary TRH stimulation tests. Mean 60-minute plasma glucose concentration was significantly lower for solitary OSTs than for combined tests, but this difference could not be attributed to TRH administration.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Combined testing in the manner described impacted ACTH concentrations during TRH stimulation tests and is not recommended at this time.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research