Williams TL, Archer J.
BACKGROUND: Hyperthyroidism is common in older cats, which necessitates frequent screening of serum total thyroxine (TT4) concentrations. Fast, cheap, and reliable methods to measure TT4 in cats are needed. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the study was the validation of a human TT4 enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for use with feline serum, and derivation of a TT4 reference interval (RI) for cats aged 9 years and older. METHODS: Assay precision, reproducibility, and linearity were evaluated. Interference by hemolysis was also assessed. Method comparison studies between the human EIA and a previously validated radioimmunoassay (RIA) and chemiluminescent-enzyme immunoassay (CEIA) were performed. Healthy cats (> 9 years) were recruited from 3 UK first opinion practices. RESULTS: The human TT4 EIA demonstrated good precision and reproducibility, and adequate linearity. Hemolysis did not significantly alter measured TT4 concentrations until HGB > 8 g/L. Method comparison revealed proportional and constant errors between EIA and RIA/CEIA. The TT4 RI for cats (> 9 years) was calculated as 7.1-45.1 nmol/L (n = 49). CONCLUSIONS: The human TT4 EIA was successfully validated for use with feline serum and offers a rapid, cheap, and reliable method for determination of serum TT4 concentrations in cats.