Diagnosis of hyperthyroidism in cats with mild chronic kidney disease

Wakeling, J M and Moore, K and Elliott, J and Syme, H M (2008) Diagnosis of hyperthyroidism in cats with mild chronic kidney disease. JOURNAL OF SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE, 49 (6). pp. 287-294.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: In cats with concurrent hyperthyroidism and non-thyroidal illnesses such as chronic kidney disease, total thyroxine concentrations are often within the laboratory reference range (19 to 55 nmol/l). The objective of the study was to determine total thyroxine, free thyroxine and/or thyroid-stimulating hormone concentrations in cats with mild chronic kidney disease. METHODS: Total thyroxine, free thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormone were measured in three groups. The hyperthyroidism-chronic kidney disease group (n=16) had chronic kidney disease and clinical signs compatible with hyperthyroidism but a plasma total thyroxine concentration within the reference range. These cats were subsequently confirmed to be hyperthyroid at a later date. The chronic kidney disease-only group (n=20) had chronic kidney disease but no signs of hyperthyroidism. The normal group (n=20) comprised clinically healthy senior (> 8 years) cats. RESULTS: In 4 of 20 euthyroid chronic kidney disease cats, free thyroxine concentrations were borderline or high (>= 40 pmol/l). In the hyperthyroidism-chronic kidney disease group, free thyroxine was high in 15 of 16 cats, while thyroid-stimulating hormone was low in 16 of 16 cats. Most hyperthyroidism-chronic kidney disease cats (14 of 16) had total thyroxine greater than 30 nmol/l, whereas all the chronic kidney disease-only cats had total thyroxine less than 30 nmol/l. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The combined measurement of free thyroxine with total thyroxine or thyroid-stimulating hormone may be of merit in the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism in cats with chronic kidney disease.