Change in serum thyroid-stimulating hormone concentration in response to administration of thyrotropin-releasing hormone to healthy dogs, hypothyroid dogs, and euthyroid dogs with concurrent disease

J. Catharine R. Scott-Moncrieff From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (Scott-Moncrieff); and the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Nelson).

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Richard W. Nelson From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (Scott-Moncrieff); and the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Nelson).

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Objective

To determine whether measuring change in serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentration in response to thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) administration can be used as a test of thyroid function in dogs suspected of having hypothyroidism.

Design

Case-cohort study.

Animals

13 healthy dogs, 20 hypothyroid dogs, and 18 euthyroid dogs with concurrent diseases.

Procedure

Blood samples were collected before and 30 minutes after TRH administration, and serum TSH concentration was measured. The 13 healthy dogs were used to establish a reference range for change in TSH concentration after TRH administration. The remaining 38 dogs were categorized as hypothyroid or euthyroid on the basis of baseline total thyroxine (T4) and TSH concentrations, T4 concentration 4 hours after TRH administration, and clinical response to administration of sodium levothyroxine.

Results

Median baseline TSH concentration was 0.25 ng/ml (range, 0.03 to 0.44 ng/ml) in healthy dogs, 0.93 ng/ml (0.21 to 3.5 ng/ml) in hypothyroid dogs, and 0.21 ng/ml (0.03 to 0.63 ng/ml) in euthyroid dogs with concurrent diseases. Median percentage change in TSH concentration after TRH administration was 207% (range, 25 to 2,200%) in healthy dogs, 24% (-21 to 134%) in hypothyroid dogs, and 167% (69 to 1,800%) in euthyroid dogs with concurrent diseases. Overall accuracy of using the TRH-induced change in TSH concentration to identify hypothyroid dogs was 90%.

Clinical Implications

Although percentage change in TSH concentration in response to TRH administration can be used to differentiate euthyroid from hypothyroid dogs, the test has little advantage over measurement of baseline TSH and total or free T4concentration. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;213:1435-1438)

Objective

To determine whether measuring change in serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentration in response to thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) administration can be used as a test of thyroid function in dogs suspected of having hypothyroidism.

Design

Case-cohort study.

Animals

13 healthy dogs, 20 hypothyroid dogs, and 18 euthyroid dogs with concurrent diseases.

Procedure

Blood samples were collected before and 30 minutes after TRH administration, and serum TSH concentration was measured. The 13 healthy dogs were used to establish a reference range for change in TSH concentration after TRH administration. The remaining 38 dogs were categorized as hypothyroid or euthyroid on the basis of baseline total thyroxine (T4) and TSH concentrations, T4 concentration 4 hours after TRH administration, and clinical response to administration of sodium levothyroxine.

Results

Median baseline TSH concentration was 0.25 ng/ml (range, 0.03 to 0.44 ng/ml) in healthy dogs, 0.93 ng/ml (0.21 to 3.5 ng/ml) in hypothyroid dogs, and 0.21 ng/ml (0.03 to 0.63 ng/ml) in euthyroid dogs with concurrent diseases. Median percentage change in TSH concentration after TRH administration was 207% (range, 25 to 2,200%) in healthy dogs, 24% (-21 to 134%) in hypothyroid dogs, and 167% (69 to 1,800%) in euthyroid dogs with concurrent diseases. Overall accuracy of using the TRH-induced change in TSH concentration to identify hypothyroid dogs was 90%.

Clinical Implications

Although percentage change in TSH concentration in response to TRH administration can be used to differentiate euthyroid from hypothyroid dogs, the test has little advantage over measurement of baseline TSH and total or free T4concentration. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;213:1435-1438)

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