Serum thyroid hormone concentrations fluctuate in cats with hyperthyroidism

Peterson M.E., Kintzer P.P., Cavanagh P.G., et al.

J Am Vet Med Assoc, 1983. 183(1): p.103-10.


Hyperthyroidism was diagnosed in 131 cats during a 3 1/2-year period. The cats ranged in age from 6 to 20 years; there was no breed or sex predilection. The most frequent clinical signs included weight loss, polyphagia, increased activity, polydipsia, polyuria, and vomiting. Common serum biochemical abnormalities included high values for alkaline phosphatase activity (75%), lactate dehydrogenase activity (66%), aspartate transaminase activity (66%), and alanine transaminase activity (54%). Electrocardiographic changes included tachycardia (greater than or equal to 240 beats/min) and increased R-wave amplitude in lead II (greater than or equal to 0.9 mV) in 66% and 29% of the 131 cats, respectively. Thoracic radiography in 82 cats revealed cardiomegaly in 40 (49%) of these cats; 16 cats with congestive heart failure also had pulmonary edema or pleural effusion. In 5 cats with markedly increased fecal volume, mean 48-hour fecal fat content was significantly greater than normal, with daily fat excretion 2 to 15 times the upper limit of normal. Base-line serum thyroxine concentrations were increased above normal range in all cats, whereas triiodothyronine concentrations were increased in 127 (97%) of the 131 cats. In 11 cats tested, mean thyroxine concentration did not increase significantly after thyroid-stimulating hormone administration. Mean 24-hour percentage of thyroid radioiodine uptake in 32 hyperthyroid cats was significantly higher (39.1%) than normal (9.2%). Thyroid scans, performed on 126 cats, showed enlargement and increased radionuclide accumulation in 1 thyroid lobe in 36 (29%) and both lobes in 90 (71%) of the cats.