Use of low-dose of synthetic ACTH in the adrenal stimulation test for diagnosis and monitoring of canine hyperadrenocorticism: evaluation of diagnostic efficacy

Renata C.B. Martins Márcia M. Jericó About the authors


ACTH stimulation is the gold standard test to monitor levels of endogen control of patients under treatment for canine hyperadrenocorticism and it may also be used to diagnose the disease. Current protocols use doses ranging from 5ug/kg to 250ug per animal by intravenous or intramuscular administration. There are no studies with doses inferior to 5ug/kg in adrenopatic patients. In the present investigation, the dose of 1ug/kg/IV was tested; compared with the recommended dose of d 5ug/kg/IV in groups of dogs under clinical suspicion of HAC (HAC Diag), animals under treatment for HAC (HAC Control) and healthy animals (Healthy). Under the dose of 1ug/kg/IV, average results for baseline cortisol values were equal to 2.40ug/dL(+/- 1.57ug/dL) for healthy, 1.53g/dL(+/-0.93ug/dL) for HAC Control and 3.37ug/dL(+/-1.57ug/dL) for HAC Diag. Post-ACTH values in the dose of 1ug/kg were average 11.43ug/dL(+/-2.46ug/dL) for healthy animals, 2.67ug/dL (+/-1.39ug/dL) for HAC Control and 16.56ug/dL(+/-7.62ug/dL) for HAC Diag group. Basal cortisol values at a dose of 5ug/kg were 0.89ug/dL (+/-0.23ug/dL) Control group for HAC; average 3.08ug/dL (+/-1.99ug/dL) for HAC Diag group. Baseline cortisol under the dose of 5ug/kg were average 3.71ug/dL(+/-1.57ug/dL) for HAC Control and 22.52g/dL(+/-8.75ug/dL) for HAC diag. Based on the present results, it was found that both doses of 1 and 5ug/kg of synthetic ACTH do not differ, providing the same kind of change in cortisol values (ANOVA, p=0.225). Also, the dose of 1ug/kg of ACTH was equally effective in raising levels of cortisol in the three groups tested (Healthy, HAC and HAC Control Diag; ANOVA, p<0.05). Through the Dunn test it was observed that HAC Control presented HAC-Δ cortisol (delta = difference between cortisol after stimulation and basal cortisol) significantly lower than HAC Diag (p<0.05) and healthy animals (p<0.05). Therefore the dose of 1ug/kg of synthetic ACTH can be effectively used to perform the ACTH stimulation test effectively.

ACTH; adrenal stimulation test; hyperadrenocorticism; hypercortisolism; cortisol; dogs; endocrine diseases; cortrosin

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