Results of a combined dexamethasone suppression/thyrotropin-releasing hormone stimulation test in healthy horses and horses suspected to have a pars intermedia pituitary adenoma

Hugo Eiler From the Departments of Animal Science (Eiler, Fecteau), Comparative Medicine (Oliver), Large Animal Clinical Sciences (Andrews, Green), and Pathology (McCracken), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Agriculture Experiment Station (Eiler), University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4500.

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Jack W. Oliver From the Departments of Animal Science (Eiler, Fecteau), Comparative Medicine (Oliver), Large Animal Clinical Sciences (Andrews, Green), and Pathology (McCracken), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Agriculture Experiment Station (Eiler), University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4500.

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Frank M. Andrews From the Departments of Animal Science (Eiler, Fecteau), Comparative Medicine (Oliver), Large Animal Clinical Sciences (Andrews, Green), and Pathology (McCracken), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Agriculture Experiment Station (Eiler), University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4500.

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Kellie A. Fecteau From the Departments of Animal Science (Eiler, Fecteau), Comparative Medicine (Oliver), Large Animal Clinical Sciences (Andrews, Green), and Pathology (McCracken), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Agriculture Experiment Station (Eiler), University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4500.

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Eleanor M. Green From the Departments of Animal Science (Eiler, Fecteau), Comparative Medicine (Oliver), Large Animal Clinical Sciences (Andrews, Green), and Pathology (McCracken), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Agriculture Experiment Station (Eiler), University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4500.

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Malcolm McCracken From the Departments of Animal Science (Eiler, Fecteau), Comparative Medicine (Oliver), Large Animal Clinical Sciences (Andrews, Green), and Pathology (McCracken), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Agriculture Experiment Station (Eiler), University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4500.

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Objective—

To evaluate results of a combined dexa-methasone suppression/thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) stimulation test in horses suspected clinically to have a pars intermedia pituitary adenoma (PIPA).

Design—

Case-control study.

Animals—

7 healthy adult horses and 5 horses suspected to have a PIPA.

Procedure—

A baseline blood sample was collected, and dexamethasone (40 μg/kg [18 μg/lb] of body weight, IV) was administered; a second blood sample was collected 3 hours later, and TRH (1.1 mg, IV) was administered; serial blood samples were collected 15, 30, 45, 60, and 90 minutes and 21 hours after TRH administration (24 hours after dexamethasone injection). Cortisol concentration was determined for all blood samples.

Results—

Baseline Cortisol concentration was significantly lower in horses suspected to have a PIPA than in healthy horses. Cortisol concentration was suppressed by dexamethasone in both groups; however, after TRH administration, Cortisol concentration returned to baseline values in horses suspected to have a PIPA, but not in healthy horses. Concentration was still less than the baseline value 24 hours after dexamethasone administration in healthy horses.

Clinical Implications—

The combined dexamethasone suppression/TRH stimulation test may be a useful diagnostic test in horses suspected to have a PIPA. For clinical application, collection of a blood sample 30 minutes after TRH administration is recommended. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:79–81)

Objective—

To evaluate results of a combined dexa-methasone suppression/thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) stimulation test in horses suspected clinically to have a pars intermedia pituitary adenoma (PIPA).

Design—

Case-control study.

Animals—

7 healthy adult horses and 5 horses suspected to have a PIPA.

Procedure—

A baseline blood sample was collected, and dexamethasone (40 μg/kg [18 μg/lb] of body weight, IV) was administered; a second blood sample was collected 3 hours later, and TRH (1.1 mg, IV) was administered; serial blood samples were collected 15, 30, 45, 60, and 90 minutes and 21 hours after TRH administration (24 hours after dexamethasone injection). Cortisol concentration was determined for all blood samples.

Results—

Baseline Cortisol concentration was significantly lower in horses suspected to have a PIPA than in healthy horses. Cortisol concentration was suppressed by dexamethasone in both groups; however, after TRH administration, Cortisol concentration returned to baseline values in horses suspected to have a PIPA, but not in healthy horses. Concentration was still less than the baseline value 24 hours after dexamethasone administration in healthy horses.

Clinical Implications—

The combined dexamethasone suppression/TRH stimulation test may be a useful diagnostic test in horses suspected to have a PIPA. For clinical application, collection of a blood sample 30 minutes after TRH administration is recommended. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:79–81)

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