Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism in Cats with Mild Chronic Kidney Disease

Wakeling J., Moore K., Elliott J., et al.

J Small Anim Pract, 2008. 49(6): p.287-94.


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 (> or =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.