Lymphoma as a Model for Chronic Illness: Effects on Adrenocortical Function Testing

T. L. Gieger, Edward C Feldman, S. T. Wallack, G. Dank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Many dogs with chronic illness have serum biochemical abnormalities consistent with hyperadrenocorticism (HAC). Lymphoma (LSA) is a chronic disease of dogs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate adrenocortical screening test results in dogs with LSA to evaluate their specificity. Criteria for inclusion in the study included a diagnosis of LSA, an expected survival time of 16-56 weeks, no glucocorticoid treatment beyond 4 weeks after the initiation of chemotherapy, no evidence of HAC, and owner consent. Post-ACTH stimulation plasma cortisol concentrations (PACs), urine cortisol:creatinine (UC:Cr) ratios, and maximal left adrenal width measurements were performed at the time of LSA diagnosis before the initiation of chemotherapy and at 16, 24, 32, 40, and 52 weeks or until the loss of remission or the development of another disease. Ten dogs met the criteria for inclusion. Forty-two PACs were performed; 1 abnormal, 2 borderline, and 39 normal values were detected. Thirty-five maximal left adrenal width measurements were obtained; 0 abnormal, 5 borderline, and 30 normal measurements were detected. Thirty-six UC:Cr ratios were obtained, with 26 abnormal, 4 borderline, and 6 normal values detected and 9 of 10 dogs having at least 1 abnormal value. These data suggest that in dogs with LSA, the UC:Cr ratio frequently is abnormal and may not be a specific test for HAC, or it may be the most sensitive test for increases in cortisol secretion due to chronic illness. Maximal left adrenal width measurements and PACs were almost always normal and may be more specific for HAC or less sensitive for demonstrating chronic increases in cortisol secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-157
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2003


  • ACTH stimulation
  • Adrenal ultrasound
  • Hyperadrenocorticism
  • Lymphoma
  • Neoplasia
  • Urine cortisol:creatinine ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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