The role of acute phase proteins in diagnosis and management of steroid-responsive meningitis arteritis in dogs

Vet J. 2009 Oct;182(1):125-30. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2008.05.001. Epub 2008 Jun 30.


Acute phase proteins (APPs) have become an important tool in the diagnosis, management and prognosis of inflammatory diseases in humans and are developing a similar utility in domestic species. Steroid-responsive meningitis arteritis (SRMA) is a well-recognised inflammatory disease of the dog, the diagnosis of which remains unsatisfactory based on clinical criteria and non-specific laboratory investigations. In this prospective pilot study the authors examined the acute phase response throughout the course of SRMA in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by evaluating three key stages in disease management: presentation, treatment response and putative relapse. Serum APPs were found to be of value in supporting the diagnosis of SRMA and monitoring its treatment. C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid-A (SAA), alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) and haptoglobin (Hp) all exhibited an increase above our laboratory reference range in nine patients at initial presentation. During treatment APPs decreased significantly compared to presentation except Hp which increased (Wilcoxon-Signed-Rank-test: CRP, SAA and AGP P<0.05). Serum CRP and SAA were also found to be of clinical value in the identification of putative relapse (seven cases), particularly in the light of unperturbed CSF parameters where APP concentrations were elevated. CSF APPs were found to be less reliable markers in the management of this disease. The results indicate that SRMA causes a significant APP response in dogs, which although not disease specific, is of value in supporting the diagnosis of SRMA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins / analysis
  • Acute-Phase Proteins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Arteritis / blood
  • Arteritis / diagnosis
  • Arteritis / drug therapy
  • Arteritis / veterinary*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Dog Diseases / blood*
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy
  • Dog Diseases / immunology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Male
  • Meningitis / blood
  • Meningitis / diagnosis
  • Meningitis / drug therapy
  • Meningitis / veterinary*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Steroids / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Biomarkers
  • Steroids