Effect of Nonthyroidal Illness on Serum Thyroxine Concentrations in Cats: 494 Cases (1988)

Peterson M.E. and Gamble D.A.

J Am Vet Med Assoc, 1990. 197(9): p.1203-8.


We reviewed the medical records of 494 cats with a variety of nonthyroidal diseases in which serum thyroxine (T4) concentration was determined as part of diagnostic evaluation. The cats were grouped by category of disease (ie, renal disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, focal neoplasia, systemic neoplasia, hepatopathy, inflammatory bowel disease, inflammatory pulmonary disease, miscellaneous diseases, or undiagnosed disease), degree of illness (ie, mild, moderate, or severe), survival (ie, lived, died, or euthanatized), and presence or absence of a palpable thyroid gland. The mean (+/- SD) serum T4 concentrations in all 10 groups of cats, which ranged from 10.5 +/- 11.1 nmol/L in cats with diabetes mellitus to 18.7 +/- 7.8 nmol/L in cats with focal neoplasia, were significantly (P less than 0.001) lower than those of normal cats (27.0 +/- 10.4 nmol/L). The number of ill cats with low serum T4 concentrations (less than 10 nmol/L) was highest in the cats with diabetes mellitus (59%), hepatopathy (54%), renal failure (48%), and systemic neoplasia (41%). When the serum T4 concentrations in cats with mild, moderate, and severe illness were compared, mean concentrations were progressively lower (21.3 +/- 6.8, 14.8 +/- 8.1, and 6.5 +/- 5.8 nmol/L, respectively) as degree of illness increased. Severity of illness had a more significant (P less than 0.001) effect in lowering serum T4 concentrations than did disease category. Mean serum T4 concentrations in the cats that died (7.8 +/- 9.8 nmol/L) or were euthanatized (10.0 +/- 7.0 nmol/L) were also significantly (P less than 0.001) lower than those of cats that survived (15.2 +/- 8.8 nmol/L).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)