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  • Author or Editor: Romy M. Heilmann x
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Objective—To develop and analytically validate a radioimmunoassay (RIA) for the quantification of canine calprotectin (cCP) in serum and fecal extracts of dogs.

Sample Population—Serum samples (n = 50) and fecal samples (30) were obtained from healthy dogs of various breeds and ages.

Procedures—A competitive, liquid-phase, double-antibody RIA was developed and analytically validated by assessing analytic sensitivity, working range, linearity, accuracy, precision, and reproducibility. Reference intervals for serum and fecal cCP concentrations were determined.

Results—Sensitivity and upper limit of the working range were 29 and 12,774 μg/L for serum and 2.9 and 1,277.4 μg/g for fecal extracts, respectively. Observed-to-expected ratios for serial dilutions of 6 serum samples and 6 fecal extracts ranged from 95.3% to 138.2% and from 80.9% to 118.1%, respectively. Observed-to-expected ratios for spiking recovery for 6 serum samples and 6 fecal extracts ranged from 84.6% to 121.5% and from 80.3% to 132.1%, respectively. Coefficients of variation for intra-assay and interassay variability were < 3.9% and < 8.7% for 6 serum samples and < 8.5% and < 12.6% for 6 fecal extracts, respectively. Reference intervals were 92 to 1,121 μg of cCP/L for serum and < 2.9 to 137.5 μg of cCP/g for fecal extracts.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The RIA described here was analytically sensitive, linear, accurate, precise, and reproducible for the quantification of cCP in serum and fecal extracts. This assay should facilitate research into the clinical use of serum and fecal cCP measurements in dogs with inflammatory bowel disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To measure serum calprotectin concentration in dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) before and after initiation of treatment and evaluate its correlation with a clinical scoring system (canine IBD activity index), serum canine C-reactive protein concentration, and severity of histopathologic changes.

Animals—34 dogs with idiopathic IBD and 139 healthy control dogs.

Procedures—From dogs with IBD, blood samples were collected immediately before (baseline) and 3 weeks after initiation of 1 of 2 treatments: prednisone (1 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h; n = 21) or a combination of prednisone and metronidazole (10 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h; 13). Blood samples were collected once from each of the control dogs. For all samples, serum calprotectin concentration was determined via radioimmunoassay.

Results—Mean serum calprotectin concentrations for dogs with IBD at baseline (431.1 μg/L) and 3 weeks after initiation of treatment (676.9 μg/L) were significantly higher, compared with that (219.4 μg/L) for control dogs, and were not significantly correlated with the canine IBD activity index, serum C-reactive protein concentration, or severity of histopathologic changes. The use of a serum calprotectin concentration of ≥ 296.0 μg/L as a cutoff had a sensitivity of 82.4% (95% confidence interval, 65.5% to 93.2%) and specificity of 68.4% (95% confidence interval, 59.9% to 76.0%) for distinguishing dogs with idiopathic IBD from healthy dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serum calprotectin concentration may be a useful biomarker for the detection of inflammation in dogs, but the use of certain drugs (eg, glucocorticoids) appears to limit its clinical usefulness.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate fecal calprotectin concentrations in healthy dogs and dogs with chronic diarrhea, to identify cutoff values for fecal calprotectin concentrations for use in differentiating dogs with chronic diarrhea and a canine chronic enteropathy clinical activity index (CCECAI) < 12 from dogs with chronic diarrhea and a CCECAI ≥ 12, and to evaluate the association between histologic evidence of intestinal mucosal changes and fecal calprotectin concentrations in dogs with chronic diarrhea.

Sample—Fecal samples from 96 adult dogs (27 dogs with chronic diarrhea and 69 healthy control dogs).

Procedures—Severity of clinical signs was evaluated on the basis of the CCECAI scoring system. Endoscopy was performed in all dogs with chronic diarrhea, and mucosal biopsy specimens were evaluated histologically. Fecal calprotectin concentration was quantified via radioimmunoassay.

Results—Fecal calprotectin concentrations were significantly higher in dogs with chronic diarrhea than in healthy control dogs. Fecal calprotectin concentrations were also significantly higher in dogs with a CCECAI ≥ 12, compared with concentrations for dogs with a CCECAI between 4 and 11. Fecal calprotectin concentrations were significantly higher in dogs with chronic diarrhea associated with histologic lesions, compared with concentrations in control dogs, and were significantly correlated with the severity of histologic intestinal lesions. Among dogs with chronic diarrhea, the best cutoff fecal calprotectin concentration for predicting a CCECAI ≥ 12 was 48.9 μg/g (sensitivity, 53.3%; specificity, 91.7%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Fecal calprotectin may be a useful biomarker in dogs with chronic diarrhea, especially dogs with histologic lesions.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate serum concentrations of biochemical markers and survival time in dogs with protein-losing enteropathy (PLE).

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—29 dogs with PLE and 18 dogs with food-responsive diarrhea (FRD).

Procedures—Data regarding serum concentrations of various biochemical markers at the initial evaluation were available for 18 of the 29 dogs with PLE and compared with findings for dogs with FRD. Correlations between biochemical marker concentrations and survival time (interval between time of initial evaluation and death or euthanasia) for dogs with PLE were evaluated.

Results—Serum C-reactive protein concentration was high in 13 of 18 dogs with PLE and in 2 of 18 dogs with FRD. Serum concentration of canine pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity was high in 3 dogs with PLE but within the reference interval in all dogs with FRD. Serum α1-proteinase inhibitor concentration was less than the lower reference limit in 9 dogs with PLE and 1 dog with FRD. Compared with findings in dogs with FRD, values of those 3 variables in dogs with PLE were significantly different. Serum calprotectin (measured by radioimmunoassay and ELISA) and S100A12 concentrations were high but did not differ significantly between groups. Seventeen of the 29 dogs with PLE were euthanized owing to this disease; median survival time was 67 days (range, 2 to 2,551 days).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serum C-reactive protein, canine pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity, and α1-proteinase inhibitor concentrations differed significantly between dogs with PLE and FRD. Most initial biomarker concentrations were not predictive of survival time in dogs with PLE.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association