Hypothesis: Certain variables that are routinely measured during the diagnostic evaluation of dogs with chronic enteropathies will be predictive for outcome and a new clinical disease activity index incorporating these variables can be applied to predict outcome of disease.
Animals: Seventy dogs were entered into a sequential treatment trial with elimination diet (FR, food-responsive group) followed by immunosuppressive treatment with steroids if no response was seen with the dietary trial alone (ST, steroid-treatment group). A 3rd group consisted of dogs with panhypoproteinemia and ascites (PLE, protein-losing enteropathy) that were treated with immunosuppressive doses of steroids.
Methods: Three years of follow-up information was available for all dogs. Clinicopathologic variables were tested for their ability to predict negative outcome, defined as euthanasia due to refractoriness to treatment. Different scoring systems including different combinations of these variables were evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves.
Results: Thirteen of 70 (18%) dogs were euthanized because of intractable disease. Univariate analysis identified a high clinical activity index, high endoscopic score in the duodenum, hypocobalaminemia (<200 ng/L) and hypoalbuminemia (<20 g/L) as risk factors for negative outcome.
Conclusions and clinical importance: Based on the factors identified by logistic regression and ROC curve analysis, a new clinical scoring index (CCECAI) was defined that predicts negative outcome in dogs suffering from chronic enteropathies.