Association between Urinary Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Excretion and Chronic Kidney Disease in Hyperthyroid Cats

Williams T.L., Elliott J. and Syme H.M.


Res Vet Sci, 2014. 96(3): p.436-41.


Many hyperthyroid cats develop azotaemic chronic kidney disease (aCKD) following treatment, which has led to the hypothesis that hyperthyroidism might be detrimental to renal function. Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) activation occurs in hyperthyroidism, which could cause peri-tubular hypoxia, tubular damage and the development of aCKD. Urinary vascular endothelial growth factor:creatinine ratio (VEGFCR) is postulated to be a marker of tubular hypoxia. VEGFCR was correlated with plasma renin activity (PRA) and compared between hyperthyroid cats that did and did not develop aCKD following treatment (pre-azotaemic and non-azotaemic groups respectively). PRA was positively correlated with VEGFCR (rs = 0.382; P = 0.028); however, pre-azotaemic hyperthyroid cats had significantly lower VEGFCR than non-azotaemic cats at baseline (median 122.3 fg/g versus 167.0 fg/g; P < 0.001). RAAS activation in hyperthyroidism is associated with increased VEGFCR; however, increased VEGFCR was not correlated with the development of aCKD. Therefore, tubular hypoxia may not be a mechanism for renal damage in hyperthyroid cats.